Copper Theft of Half a Kilometre of Live Ausgrid Power Lines
On 18th August copper thieves have made off with 500 metres of live, 33KV overhead power cables as scrap metal, just six months after a failed attempt to cut down power lines on the same road in the Lake Macquarie region.
The criminals seem to have learnt their lesson from their failure in March, getting away with hundreds of meters of overhead power lines this time.
Back then, bolt cutters were used to try and steal 150 metres of 11,000 volt overhead power lines at Toronto. The attempt ultimately failed and left live power lines snaking across the road.
Ausgrid chief operating officer Trevor Armstrong said after this month’s theft that one of the broken wires nearly fell across a road connecting Toronto to the motorway.
“One of the damaged wires came close to falling across Awaba road, which connects to the M1, so we were very fortunate that no one was injured,” he said. On Tuesday, another group of thieves also stole underground copper cabling in Tomago, near Port Stephens in NSW, resulting in significant damage to power lines.
“This was incredibly dangerous and we condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible term,” Mr Armstrong said. “This could have ended tragically for those involved, no amount of copper is worth your life.”
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