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RCMP seeking Hants County copper thieves after four incidents reported

["Summerside power utility's Ottawa Street substation."]
Police are seeking information after copper was stolen from four separate Nova Scotia Power substations in Hants County. - File Photo

HANTS COUNTY, N.S. — The Windsor District RCMP is investigating four separate thefts of copper wire from Nova Scotia Power substations.

According to a press release, the RCMP say the thefts occurred between Jan. 1 and Jan. 12, 2018. Each time, the lock was cut, the premises were entered, and copper wire was cut and removed.

Nova Scotia Power prohibits public access to its substations and other facilities that contain high voltage electrical equipment due to the high risk to personal and public safety.

The RCMP said that anyone who unlawfully enters these premises is risking severe injuries to themselves and significant damage to on-site equipment.

“Those buildings are kept locked for good reason,” media relations officer Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said. “You need training to be in there; it’s hazardous for the average person to be in there.”

The RCMP are asking anyone in the public that has information about these thefts to contact them — whether the information is about the thefts or if the wire is being re-sold.

Clarke said that the substations that were targeted were located in Upper Burlington, St. Croix, Three Mile Plains and Falmouth.

Tiffany Chase, media relations with Nova Scotia Power said members of the public who aren’t trained to be in these workspaces could risk serious harm or death.

“There’s a very high risk of electrocution at these locations,” Chase said. “Ground wire at these locations can be a target, and those carry 25,000 volts of electricity, and a charge from that kind of wire being cut could be life-threatening or fatal.”

Chase said the damage to the equipment can also result in power outages.

“We don’t have an estimated cost as a result of these thefts, but we certainly do incur a cost to make repairs and safely re-secure those facilities,” Chase said. “We do see this occur in patterns from time to time, but unfortunately, due to the nature of out equipment it can be attractive for theft.”

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact Windsor District RCMP at 902 798-2207.

To remain anonymous, you can also contact Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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