Attempted copper theft cuts power to homes

(02) 9966 7985 |
24 hr news pager 02 9966 7985

3 October 2018

Police have been called in to investigate another dangerous incident involving interference with live electrical wires in Lake Macquarie over the long weekend.

The incident cut power supply to 1,200 customers in parts of Belmont, Belmont South and Marks Point.

Ausgrid emergency crews were called to the Pacific Highway at Marks Point shortly after 6am on Saturday after a fault was detected.

When they arrived they discovered a metal security gate had been cut through with a saw and a power pole about 20 metres from the road had been targeted.

Soil around the base of the pole had been dug away and a metal cover had been removed in an attempt to cut away live copper cables from a connection between underground cables and overhead powerlines.

Chief Operating Officer Trevor Armstrong said the attempt to remove the cable caused significant damage and sparked a fire.

Unfortunately the message doesn't seem to be getting through that anyone who interferes with live electrical wires is putting their own life and potentially those of others at risk. This is dangerous and criminal behaviour and no amount of copper is worth a life.

Mr Armstrong said.

The west Lake Macquarie and Toronto area has been targeted this year multiple times.

In August 500 metres of copper wire across two spans of 33,000 volt overhead powerlines was cut down and stolen on Awaba Road at Toronto West.

In March would-be thieves used bolt cutters to cut down 150 metres of live 11,000 volt overhead powerlines near Ausgrid’s Toronto West zone substation.

The incidents have been reported to police and Ausgrid Security is assisting the investigation.

Anyone who may have any information on the copper thefts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

damaged powerpole from attempted copper theft