May 27, 2018
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Copper theft leads to emergency power outages in Brooksville area

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

BROOKSVILLE, Maine — A theft of copper wiring from a local Bangor Hydro Electric Co. substation led to emergency repairs Monday afternoon that were expected to affect more than 4,800 customers, Bangor Hydro officials indicated in a prepared statement.

Bob Potts, spokesman for the power distribution company, said late Monday afternoon that such thefts are becoming more frequent and have affected multiple substations. He said the outage was expected to last from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday but that he was unsure exactly how long it might take.

“This one was discovered just today,” Potts said of the latest copper theft. “We’re seeing a greater number of these occurrences and it’s very distressing to us.”

According to the statement, customers were affected in Brooklin, Brooksville, Deer Isle, Sedgwick and Stonington.

“Bangor Hydro reminds the public that it is not only illegal to vandalize a substation or other Bangor Hydro-owned facility, it is also extremely dangerous,” the statement indicated.

Potts said the company is taking steps to try to prevent other thefts and plans to more vigorously pursue criminal complaints against suspected copper thieves.

Potts said the company also asks the public to be vigilant and to report suspicious activity around power facilities. Anyone with concerns or information is asked to call the Bangor Hydro customer service center at 800-440-1111.

“We’d rather have someone call and have it be a false alarm than have [a potential thief] be injured or killed,” Potts said.

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