Criminals risking their lives to steal copper

Local News

Would you risk being struck by lightning for $65?   Desperate times apparently causing thieves to do very foolish things.

Individuals recently entered a Northwestern REC substation to steal cooper grounds – they put themselves and our linemen’s lives at great risk. The thieves left with less than $100 worth of copper, but they were very lucky to escape with their lives.

“There is a reason our substations are surrounded by secure fencing and warning signs – to protect the public.
No matter how despite the situation may be, the answer is never found in an electric substation.” Explained
Linda King, Vice President of Communications and Energy Solutions. Linemen are highly-trained professionals who understand the dangers of working with electricity and take proper safety precautions. The public is advised to stay away from substations and any downed lines and to always err on the side of caution and assume any downed lines are energized.

Northwestern REC offers safety demonstrations in both a mobile table-top unit as well as a live unit at the
Cambridge Springs facility. Additional electrical safety information can be found at
under the Community tab. Any group interested in a safety demonstration should call 1-800-352-0014 for

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