Lives on the line as copper thieves strike in Townsville

Published: 20 Oct 2021 9:19am

As Townsville Police investigate a recent spate of copper theft from the electricity network, Ergon Energy is warning thieves and vandals are putting lives at risk.

Acting Area Manager Eric Hvam said it was alarming that the lids of several pillar boxes at Mount Low had been lifted and copper wires removed.

“These senseless thieves have left a trail of electrical hazards in their wake because the lids were left off these pillar boxes, leaving live wires exposed.

“Anyone who interferes with the electricity network is risking their own life, endangering our crews and the community.

“Thankfully our crews were able to replace the stolen equipment before anyone was hurt, but the risk was real,” he said.

Mr Hvam encouraged anyone who had witnessed suspicious behaviour or had information for police to contact Policelink on 131 444.

“We’re concerned about the amount of copper theft from our underground and overhead network because earth wires are a critical safety feature – it’s just not worth the risk.

“We work closely with scrap metal merchants, who will alert us and authorities when anyone attempts to sell identifiable equipment.

“We’re grateful to everyone for their assistance in safeguarding our electrical equipment and the communities it supplies.

“If you see any life-threatening faults, it’s important to report them to Ergon on 13 16 70.”

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