PEI

Copper thieves strike again at Maritime Electric substation

People who stealing copper from substations are continuing to put themselves and others at risk, Maritime Electric says.

Power out for 2 hours in eastern P.E.I. while crews repair damage

Thieves have been cutting and stealing copper used for grounding at Maritime Electric substations. (Gary O'Rielly/Maritime Electric)

People stealing copper from substations are continuing to put themselves and others at risk, Maritime Electric says.

Spokesperson Kim Griffin said the utility has increased security at its substations after several break-ins this year.

On Saturday, it happened again when someone broke into the Dingwells Mills substation and stole copper. 

"They took out a lot of the grounding out of the substation, so if by chance our crews went in to do work it could have been a very different discussion," Griffin said. "Our crews could have been seriously harmed or electrocuted."

Our crews could have been seriously harmed or electrocuted.— Maritime Electric spokesperson Kim Griffin

Power had to be shut off at the substation, which serves thousands of customers in eastern P.E.I., for two hours on Saturday while crews repaired the damage.

"It's been a really challenging day for us and luckily we saw it before anyone went into the substation and any of our crews were harmed," Griffin said.

RCMP investigating

RCMP were called and are investigating, she said.

This year, substations have been vandalized in Lorne Valley, West St. Peter's, Dingwells Mills, Scotchfort and Souris.

"The dollar amount in terms of copper tends not to be very significant, in the hundreds of dollars, and I guess that's why we're so perplexed why people are still trying to take away the copper."

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With files from Ken MacIntosh

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