PPL Electric Utilities recently announced a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone stealing copper wire or other materials from the company.
"We're starting this reward program to help stop copper thefts from substations, service centers, even existing power lines," said David Bonenberger, vice president of Distribution Operations, in a press release. "Repair costs certainly are a factor, but ultimately, this is about safety. No one except qualified personnel wearing the appropriate protective equipment should be inside substations or be in contact with any of our facilities."
PPL is also bolstering substation security to deter theft and reaching out to salvage and scrap dealers to ask them to display reward posters in their businesses.
"The costs of repairs in the aftermath of these thefts are ultimately shared by all customers," Bonenberger said. "The worst aspect of this vandalism and theft, however, is that someone could get seriously hurt or killed. Damaging electrical facilities also puts PPL Electric Utilities workers, and our contractors, at risk."
Those observing suspicious activity around PPL facilities are asked to call their local police department.