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#407192 - 05/07/11 03:49 PM COPPER THIEVES CAUSE POWER COMPANY HUGE LOSS
Marty Offline
Belize Electricity Limited issued press release in which the company reports that thieves caused twenty thousand dollars worth of damage to its sub-station at La Democracia Village in the Belize district this week. According to the BEL statement, three persons entered the La Democracia sub-station compound, allegedly to steal copper from the facility, and in the process tripped the power system causing a loss of power to the entire southern part of the country. BEL says that power was restored to the Stann Creek and Toledo districts about forty five minutes after the unplanned blackout which started at one thirty seven on Thursday morning. BEL says that it alerted authorities to the presence of three persons who had entered the substation shortly after 1 o'clock on Thursday morning after the intrusion was spotted by personnel who were remotely monitoring the substation. BEL work crews were dispatched to the substation and found extensive damage to the Company’s property and equipment. According to BEL, grounding cables from the perimeter of the substation had been unearthed, power supply and fiber optic communication cables were uprooted and the main grounding copper wire connections had been cut from equipment inside the substation control room. All total, BEL says the copper theft resulted in twenty thousand dollars worth of damages. Police have not issued a report on the incident, but BEL says that authorities are investigating the incident and recovered three bicycles apparently belonging to the perpetrators. BEL ends its press release by issuing an advisory that, and we quote: "unauthorized entrance into a substation can result in serious injury or electrocution. Perpetrators of such criminal activities cause damage to essential equipment, which can also result in electrical damage to customers’ equipment and puts into jeopardy the safety of employees who have to work at the site. Under the Electricity Act, any person who unlawfully enters an electric substation or maliciously cuts or injures any electric line or work can be liable to a fine of up to three thousand dollars and/or to a term of imprisonment of up to three years." end of quote. Anyone with information on these criminal and unsafe activities is asked to contact the Police Department or call BEL toll free at 0-800-235-2273 or Crime Stoppers at 0-800-922-8477.

LOVEFM

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#407194 - 05/07/11 03:50 PM Re: COPPER THIEVES CAUSE POWER COMPANY HUGE LOSS [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

City Takes Unique Approach To Deter Copper Thieves

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — There is now a shocking new strategy to fight copper crime. Street lights are now staying on 24-hours a day in one Sacramento neighborhood and the city is banking on live wires to keep criminals away.

But during the day, it just seems like a waste.

“It’s a lot of money going down the drain,” says Steve Douthitt.

Steve Douthitt lives in a neighborhood where street lights stayed on all night and day for a full week.

“I’m just thinking somebody needs to reset the timer,” said Douthitt.

Douthitt has read about the city’s money trouble and thinks this is a shining light of government waste.

“Well, I’m wondering if maybe there’s budget cuts and they can’t send a crew out here to do it,” Douthitt says.

Turns out though, the city had their own light bulb moment to deal with a costly problem: Copper theft.

Mike Waldron is a Sacramento construction supervisor, and is charge of leaving these specific lights on.

“Oh, there’s thousands, thousands,” Waldron says describing the amount of lights left on.

The city now figures keeping them turned on will save money, by warding off copper thieves; keeping the lights on mean live wires, and the unlucky thief who doesn’t know better could be electrocuted.

It’s quite a warning, from a city that’s been hit hard by the copper crime.

“It’s a big deterrent; you think common sense would be a good deterrent, too,” says Waldron.

So in Steve Douthitt’s Natomas neighborhood, all the lights in undeveloped lots are now on for good.

“I believe these are 200 volts, and that would hurt,” said Waldron.

CBS Sacramento

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#407213 - 05/07/11 06:15 PM Re: COPPER THIEVES CAUSE POWER COMPANY HUGE LOSS [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline

Huge problem the world over and a big one here. I think the some of the same people paid to by BEL and BTL to install, return later in the night and steal the same.
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#407218 - 05/07/11 07:50 PM Re: COPPER THIEVES CAUSE POWER COMPANY HUGE LOSS [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Shocking!
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#407223 - 05/08/11 12:00 AM Re: COPPER THIEVES CAUSE POWER COMPANY HUGE LOSS [Re: Marty]
belizeonthebeach Offline
There was a home in Tres Cocos that had all of its main service copper wires stolen. The thieves cut the wires live.
Maybe we will catch the thief through electrocution?
Poetic justice mayhaps?

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#407225 - 05/08/11 01:29 AM Re: COPPER THIEVES CAUSE POWER COMPANY HUGE LOSS [Re: belizeonthebeach]
ragman Offline
Exactly that happened twice in my career. Once 3 thieves broke into the power station at night and started cutting cables. Two of them dragged their gravely injured friend off the property and called the fire department. Not sure exactly if he lived but if he did, he didn't have much of a future.

Another instance a man went to one of our shut down stations and was cutting overhead cable. Unknown to him we still used the transformers and transmission systems. That did not end well. They found his body a few days later.

Stealing copper wire can be a hazardous occupation. smirk
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Jim
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

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