SPOKANE, Wash. – Avista saw more than twice as many copper wire thefts in 2012 than it saw in 2011.
Thieves are not only clipping copper wire from utility poles, they are also crossing into high-voltage substations. Avista communications manager Debbie Simock said she worries it’s just a matter of time before someone in our area is seriously injured or killed stealing copper wire.
“It seems the ante has been upped in the last year in particular and that more theft is occurring in our electrical substations and that’s just…a very deadly place to be,” Simock said.
She said sometimes thieves are risking their lives for a piece of metal that will only get them $5-10 at a recycler.
Avista has no way to monitor all of its property all of the time, so the company hopes by educating the public, people can help report suspicious activity.