Copper Thieves Placing Lives in Danger

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thieves are continuing to put themselves in danger by cutting copper wire from live electricity networks, despite the risk of electrocution.

Powerco’s network in Morrinsville has been the target of a spate of copper thefts.

The dangers of tampering with electricity networks were highlighted this month when a teenager was flown to hospital in a serious condition after receiving an electric shock while allegedly trying to steal copper near Dargaville.

Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh said thieves had cut copper out of the live electricity network in Morrinsville to sell for scrap and in doing so placed members of the public at risk.

“Safety is the top priority for Powerco and these thieves are putting themselves at risk as well as the people of Morrinsville by cutting out copper components designed to ensure the network is safe.”

Mr Marsh said there had been five separate reports of copper thefts in the Morrinsville area since September. All had compromised network safety, potentially exposing electricity consumers, the thieves and Powerco’s field staff at risk of a serious shock or even electrocution.

“Powerco has acted to make the network safe and we have people out looking to identify if any other parts of the network have been damaged by these thieves who are looking to make a few quick bucks without any regard for the safety of the local community,” Mr Marsh said.

Mr Marsh said the company’s primary concern was that the illegal activities could lead to a serious injury or death and urged members of the public to be vigilant.

People with information could call Powerco on 0800 769 372 or contact Police.

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