Utilities, Police Warn Copper Thieves

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(Host) Law enforcement and utility companies are warning thieves that they are putting their own lives at risk when they steal copper to sell it as scrap metal.

Copper theft is an increasing nationwide trend, and each year there have been several deaths as people attempting to do so have been electrocuted, though none in Vermont.

But Steve Costello with Central Vermont Public Service worries it could just be a matter of time.

(Costello) "It has gotten quite common unfortunately for thieves to try to steal copper from utility substations, from grounds from polls and from other equipment to sell it for scrap metal. And when they do this they are taking their lives into their own hands and taking an enormous risk. They could be severely injured or killed."

(Host) Costello says stealing copper also presents a public safety and security risk because it can disrupt emergency services, causing power outages, compromising communications, and delaying emergency services.

Vermont State Police and utility companies across the state are asking the public to help by reporting suspicious activities at substations and other utility facilities to law enforcement.

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