Thefts of copper, aluminum, and other metals from power lines and substations are on the rise. These thefts from electric utilities are responsible for power outages, additional maintenance, and expenses. The problem does not only cause outages and costly damages, but it can also lead to serious injury and death for those attempting to steal copper from an electric system.
Four County uses copper to ground our equipment, protecting it from electrical surges and lightning by giving electricity a safe path to ground. Without the copper grounding on our poles and equipment, outages are more likely, and hazardous conditions may develop. Replacing these metals due to theft can cost Four County EMC thousands of dollars every year.
Most recently, someone cut a hole in the fence at the back of the Wards Corner substation in Pender County and removed copper grounding wires. While the person ran off without taking the copper, the damage was done. The value of the copper was minimal but the attempted theft cost Four County almost $4,000 in repairs.
While fencing and security cameras are at each substation, we still need your help. Please call law enforcement (911) and Four County EMC (1-888-368-7289 if you see anyone other than Four County personnel or contractors around the substations, poles, or other electric facilities).
Four County EMC offers a $2,500 award for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for stealing copper from our poles, substations, or facilities.