Delmarva Power Cracks Down on Copper Thieves

Delmarva Power reminds the public of the dangers of attempting to steal copper and other wire from the company’s lines, substations and equipment yards.“The theft of copper and wire from utility lines and electrical equipment can be life threatening to those who are attempting to remove it and can endanger others by leaving an unsafe condition,” said John Allen, Delmarva Power Vice President. “If ground wires have been stolen or fences cut that expose dangerous electrical equipment, anyone near the area could accidently get injured or killed.”

Altering the lines also impairs the reliability of the electric distribution system. Customers could experience uneven voltage, which can cause power outages as well as damage to electronic equipment and light bulbs. Approximately 37,000 customers recently experienced a power outage that was the result of theft and vandalism at a substation in Bethany Beach, DE.

Theft of company materials means that Delmarva Power crews must spend many hours repairing equipment, safeguarding facilities and replacing stolen wire. The repair and replacement cost of damaged equipment far exceeds the scrap value received for the wire. To address the copper and wire theft, Delmarva Power is implementing additional security measures. Anyone with information about electric utility copper or wire theft is encouraged to contact Delmarva Power (1-800-375-7117) or local authorities.