Copper theft endangers more than the life of a thief

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

NEW ROADS - It is an unfortunate reality of the times that we live in to have thieves compromise the safe guards put in to place by Pointe Coupee Electric to protect the public and its employees from hazardous exposure to electricity.  Not only is copper theft on the rise around the country, but it is also occurring in your neighborhood.  These criminal acts put the lives of you and your loved ones in danger. 

In late 2012, a copper thief was electrocuted in a sub-station in South Louisiana.  All sub-stations are secured by fences and warning signs.  However, this thief cut through the fence to gain access to the copper inside the sub-station leaving hazardous equipment exposed to the public.  Unsafe conditions, such as cut fences, leave access and entry points for small children.

“Not only have we seen theft in our sub-stations,” states J. H. “Jodie” Cotten, Pointe Coupee Electric General Manager, “but we are also finding protective ground wires removed from poles and other electrical equipment.”  Pointe Coupee Electric puts protective devices such as these ground wires in place to protect lives. 

Pointe Coupee Electric urges you to follow the following guidelines to guard against electrical dangers and prevent copper theft.

• Never enter or touch equipment inside a substation; stay away from power lines and anything touching a power line.

• Install motion-sensor lights on the outside of your house and business to deter possible thieves.

• Store tools and wire cutters in a secure location, and never leave them out while you are away.

• If you work in construction, do not leave any wires or plumbing unattended or leave loose wire at the job site, especially overnight.

• Help spread the word about the deadly consequences that can result from attempting to steal copper or aluminum.

Please help us prevent thieves from endangering you or a loved ones life. If you notice anything unusual with electric facilities such as an open/damaged substation gate or fence, open equipment, or hanging wire, call Pointe Coupee Electric immediately at (225) 638-3751. If you see anyone other than co-op personnel or contractors around substations or other electric facilities, call the cooperative or your local law enforcement agency.