PPL Electric Utilities is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone stealing copper wire from its company locations. Credit: PPL Electric Utilities.
In an effort to stop copper thefts at its substations, PPL Electric
Utilities is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that
leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone stealing copper wire from
its company locations.
The copper thefts from substations have been on the rise.
Joe Nixon said the utility had 50 thefts this year so far, compared to
36 total last year. Those thefts were primarily in the Lehigh Valley,
Bucks County and Northeast Pennsylvania, but they have occurred
throughout the company's service territory, he said.
Nixon did not immediately know how much copper wire has been stolen, or its estimated value.
Bonenberger, vice president of Distribution Operations for the utility,
said in a prepared statement: "Repair costs certainly are a factor, but
ultimately, this is about safety. No one except qualified personnel
wearing the appropriate protective equipment should be inside
substations or be in contact with any of our facilities."
The substation thefts also can put customer service reliability at risk, the company said.
In addition to the reward offer, PPL said it will bolster security
at its substations to help deter thefts, and it will ask salvage and
scrap dealers throughout its 29-county service territory to display
reward posters in their businesses.
Bonenberger said the company, along with PPL Corporate Security, works with law enforcement to investigate metal thefts.
need the eyes and ears of the community, including metal scrap dealers,
to help turn the tide," he said. “We hope the reward will spur tips to
law enforcement and deter those who might be considering stealing
Those observing suspicious activity around PPL Electric Utilities facilities are asked to call their local police department.
The decision on whether to issue a reward, and the amount of the reward, will be determined by PPL Electric Utilities.