Nova Scotia Power Suffers 20 Incidents of Copper Theft in May
Nova Scotia Power suffered 20 incidents of copper theft in Cape Breton in May.
Nova Scotia Power spokesperson Tiffany Chase confirmed the company experienced approximately 20 incidents of copper theft at different locations across the island, including Point Aconi and Scotch Lake.
The incidents occurred at Nova Scotia Power-owned substations as well as power lines.
“We do see it from time to time and unfortunately the nature of our equipment makes it a target for this kind of theft,” said Chase. There tends to be spikes in this type of activity … but police do their investigation and we also have our own security personnel who assist in the investigation to make sure that we can keep our customers, the public and employees safe.”
In Point Aconi, close to 150-pounds of copper wiring was stolen from a substation located near Point Aconi Road. The incident happened between May 11-14. The replacement value of the wiring is between $5,000-$8,000.
In Scotch Lake, a large quantity of copper wiring was taken from power lines near 585 Scotch Lake Rd. Police believe the theft happened sometime between 1 a.m. and 10 a.m. on May 28. The replacement of the stolen wiring is around $5,000.
“As we become aware of those (incidents) we would undertake the required repairs,” said Chase when asked whether the wiring has been replaced at all properties involved.
Nova Scotia Power recommends people keep a safe distance from its equipment because of the high risk for both personal and public safety. “It can be quite a high risk for someone to put themselves in the position of trying to remove wires from our equipment,” said Chase, noting substations are usually protected by fencing, while other equipment is not. “There’s potential for severe injuries to anyone that’s doing that — we have highly trained professionals who work with this equipment for a reason. ”According to Chase, the company’s ground wiring can carry 25,000 volts of electricity.
A charge from that in the wrong hands could be life-threating or fatal for people who are in the vicinity,” said Chase. “We strongly discourage anyone from approaching our equipment if they’re untrained.” Along with the dangers, tampering with equipment can also cause power voltage issues for customers and possible power outages.
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