30 Apr 2012

Copper stolen from live power lines

3:15 pm on 30 April 2012

Copper has been stolen from live power lines in Whangarei six times in the last fortnight and Northpower says the thieves are risking their lives.

Network manager Graham Dawson says the thieves might get only $5 - $10 for the metal from a scrap dealer - yet they are putting their own and the lives of others at risk.

Mr Dawson says the thefts could cause power-surges to homes, leading to a fire - and they also put repair crews at risk.

He says it costs Northpower betwen $500 to $1000 to repair the damage and replace the stolen copper each time there is a theft.

Mr Dawson says it would help if scrap dealers would do the right thing and tell police if they are suspicious about people offering copper for sale.