Copper thieves hit Bangor Hydro substation a second time

Posted Nov. 04, 2009, at 1:02 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. is making repairs to a substation in its northern service region for the second time in less than a week after thieves made off with copper wire.

Bangor Hydro crews had made repairs Friday night to the substation after the first theft, according to spokeswoman Susan E. Faloon, but when the repair workers returned Monday they discovered thieves had returned to steal the newly installed copper wire.

The power company is not revealing the location of the affected substation, but Faloon said it was in the area around Millinocket, Lincoln, Milo, LaGrange, Howland and West Enfield.

Bangor Hydro safety officer John Greaves said in a news release that the company is working with Maine State Police and Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department, along with scrap metal dealers to catch the thieves if they try to sell the copper wire.

Power stations operate at voltages as high as 345,000 volts, which is 3,000 times that of the power outlets in a home, Greaves said.

“I don’t think the thieves understand that they could face injury or even death by cutting these wires,” Greaves said.

Bangor Hydro has increased surveillance and patrol inspections of its substations in recent years and installed motion detector and surveillance equipment at an increasing number of stations, according to the release.

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