Copper thieves and live wire danger
Jun 18, 2012 / 12:43 pm
Residents of Kelowna are being asked to keep an eye out for suspicious activity around street lights or electrical infrastructure.
Due to recent copper thefts the City of Kelowna, is teaming up with FortisBC and the RCMP to educate the public on the issue.
Joe Creron, Civic Operations Director, says the main concern is the safety of the public.
“That is why we are asking residents to call the police if they see any suspicious activity, or anything that looks like attempted copper wire theft.”
Exposed wiring must be treated with care and should only be serviced by FortisBC employees, who have the necessary experience and safety training, says Dwain Bell the Vice President of Operations for FortisBC.
“It is impossible to know if a wire is live or not, so it is better to err on the side of safety and simply stay away and call us.”
Since January large amounts of copper wire have been stolen across the city and it will cost taxpayers more than $200,000 to replace.
City officials claim that will be in addition to the $900,000 that will be spent over the next three years on the anti-theft devices – half the cost paid directly from taxation, and half paid from the City’s utility reserve.
Creron says currently most copper wire tampering or disturbance, which may both point to potential theft, is going unreported.
“If you see any suspicious behaviour or come across exposed wiring please call 911. They will figure out if a theft has occurred and secure the site where there are exposed wires.”
The RCMP has also visited local firms who purchase copper wire to reinforce the protocols to prevent the purchase of stolen wire.
To report suspicious behaviour, contact the RCMP at 911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
To report downed or exposed wiring, contact FortisBC at 1-866-436-7847.
For more information about electricity in the City, visit kelowna.ca/utilities
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