POUGHKEEPSIE – Authorities
believe a new security measure being implemented by Central Hudson Gas
and Electric will help them catch thieves who steal copper wire and other
metals from substations, utility poles and other facilities.
Utility officials hope the identifier that will be placed on wires and metals and will only be viewed with a special device will act as a deterrent to thieves.
“The theft of copper wire and metals is dangerous, costly and illegal, and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Central Hudson President James Laurito. “These wires and materials are employed to provide safe and reliable service to our customers.”
He said theft of those items increases the costs because they must be replaced and also places perpetrators and utility workers in danger, because the wires are often used as a safety measure for electrical transformers and other equipment so they can be safely handled and maintained.
“Removing these wires may cause serious injury or death to thieves, as well as to utility personnel and others who may later approach the equipment,” Laurito said.