Copper theft dangers
The Eugene Water & Electric Board is working to alert the public to a very disturbing
trend – the theft of copper and other metals from the electric distribution system
for its value as scrap metal.
Not only is stealing wire from the power system illegal, it can be a deadly decision.
There have been a number of cases locally and nationally resulting in serious injury
or death by electrocution while vandalizing electric substations. There can also
be impacts to the reliability of electric services caused by surges, fires, explosions
or outages. Furthermore, it jeopardizes the safety of the public and EWEB employees.
EWEB is requesting your assistance and offers the following tips to help prevent
copper theft and safeguard against electrical dangers:
- Never enter or touch equipment inside a substation; stay away from power lines and
anything touching a power line.
- If you see suspicious activity or a crime in progress, call 911 immediately.
- If you have information about a crime that has already occurred, call the 24-hour
anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line at 1-800-3-DETECT.
- Install motion-sensor lights on the outside of your house and business to deter
- Store bolt cutters, wire cutters and other tools in a secure location, and never
leave them out while away.
- If you work in construction, secure the work site and do not leave any tools or
wires unattended, especially overnight. Consider hiring a night security guard.
- Help spread the word about the deadly consequences that can result from trying to
Copper theft is not harmless. Tampering with electricity is extremely dangerous
when done without proper training and tools, and it places the perpetrator and others
in harms way. Metal theft poses serious safety, reliability and financial threats
to the community.
Help us fight this dangerous epidemic by reporting any any suspicious activity at
our substations and other facilities.