Help ENMAX keep copper thieves at bay
By Anthony Capkun
December 14, 2015 – Following a series of recent break-ins to transformers and substations, ENMAX is warning the public to stay clear of any electrical equipment that appears to have been tampered with and call 911.
“We are extremely concerned about the public’s safety when this high-voltage electrical equipment is tampered with and exposed,” said ENMAX’s Doris Kaufmann-Woodcock. “We want Calgarians to be aware of this risk in their neighbourhoods and, if they notice any suspicious activity around transformers and substations, to please call 911 immediately.”
The break-ins are carried out by individuals who intend to steal copper, says ENMAX, which can lead to electrical hazards and power outages, and pose a risk to public safety.
“The theft of metal, particularly from critical infrastructure sites, creates a severe hazard for site employees, first responders, the public, as well as for offenders,” said Calgary Police’s Tom Hanson. “Theft at such sites can create a potentially fatal situation for employees and first responders, who may not be aware of the risk when they enter an area that’s been compromised.”
To protect property and prevent serious injuries to those attempting to steal copper from high-voltage equipment, ENMAX says it uses alternate materials that have little value in comparison to copper whenever possible.
“Thanks to new legislation, the sale of illegally obtained copper is becoming more difficult,” said ENMAX’s Paul Bates. “Anyone selling the metal to scrap dealers must produce identification, and dealers must record the registration number of the vehicle used to deliver it. This information is kept on record and made available to law enforcement for investigations.”
Got a tip? Contact CrimeStoppers at 800-222-8477, visit www.calgarycrimestoppers.org, text “tttTIPS” to 274637 or call Calgary Police at 403-266-1234.