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Progress Energy: Power line thefts increase in down economic times

Posted April 17, 2012

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— Progress Energy officials said Tuesday they have seen an increase in power line thefts, which they attribute to the down economy.

"We do also tend to see thefts rise and fall with the price of copper and other materials," said company spokesman Jeff Brooks.

On Monday, Wayne County deputies charged three people with stealing Progress Energy power lines.

George Morris Daniels, 43, George Abram Daniels, 18, and Vivian Sada Daniels, 19, all of 4127 Lake Wilson Road in Wilson, were charged with felony injury to wires or fixtures used in the transmission of electrical power service, misdemeanor larceny and misdemeanor possession of stolen goods.

Deputies said about $500 in power lines were taken off poles in the northern part of Wayne County.

power lines Thieves steal power lines for copper

Meanwhile, Johnston County authorities said they were searching for whoever stole more than a mile of Progress Energy power lines north of Selma on Saturday. Authorities said the wiring was valued at nearly $5,000.

"It hurts the utility, which has to put crews out in the field to replace that, and there's a safety risk for those crews to work with this equipment after it's been tampered with," Brooks said.

Authorities don't want to say how thieves are stealing the wires, and Progress Energy says these thefts are just not smart.

"This particular crime is one in which the risks far outweigh the rewards," Brooks said. "This is a very dangerous place. These lines are designed to carry high voltages of electricity."

13 Comments

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  • 82d Airborne Apr 18, 2012

    One of if not the biggest issue today is the lack of factories in this country, there are more folks that are not as educated to the levels of office work and need to work but have nowhere to look, don't give me that mess about WalMart or McDonalds is hiring, they are not jobs for a person with dependents and have no benefits to speak of, these factories that the Democrats let go to other countries in the dreaded NAFTA agreement have lost countless millions in taxes from employees that would be in the system today, who instead collect unemployment or other tax payer fed benefits. Maybe we would not be in this depression or whatever it is called now had we kept those low paying factory jobs around and istead got rid of every Democrat in this country, now to mention the fact that the idea of raising taxes on the rich will never work, it will be the tax payer that has to lose because that rich company owner will adjust his losses by deleting jobs thus causing more unemployment, chew on t

  • Crumps Br0ther Apr 18, 2012

    I suppose next you will be trying to work President Obama into a rainy day?
    piene2

    Just like you work Bush into your inane posts? Challenge accepted. You care ot explain the mindset of the people who would line up for free money but wont line up to fill out a job application?

  • piene2 Apr 18, 2012

    "They should have just waited in line for their Obama Money debit card. It's a lot less dangerous
    Crumps Br0ther"

    I suppose next you will be trying to work President Obama into a rainy day?

  • Crumps Br0ther Apr 18, 2012

    They should have just waited in line for their Obama Money debit card. It's a lot less dangerous

  • nowon_yuno Apr 18, 2012

    These types of crimes have risen 80% in the past 3 years. But things are getting better

  • dmpaltman2 Apr 17, 2012

    I know some folks that have stolen copper and they all had ties to a power company. Small amounts are just your everyday crook, but some of the larger amounts are from guys with the knowledge of what they have.

  • piene2 Apr 17, 2012

    "As a power systems engineer, I believe that this is a form of Natural Selection....
    In general, power systems can take care of themselves. I’d just standby and let Nature take its course in this one....
    STS"

    So you feel the death penalty is applicable for copper theft? How very nice.

  • SailbadTheSinner Apr 17, 2012

    Southern,

    Substation grounding conductors are copper, generally not buried very deep, and are ‘safe’ to remove....

    Unless, that is, you cut the wrong one. In that case, the voltage between the two cut ends can rise to some alarming values quite quickly; further, the source impedance can be very low.... From the record, most thieves don’t survive the experience....

    So – to all you substation grounding conductor thieves out there – before you make the “most unkindest cut of all” (apologies to Shakespeare), you’d better have some very good plant documentation and even then it’s going to be done at a pretty heavy risk. Frankly, I’ve got a slight clue about what’s going on in those places and “I” wouldn’t do it...

    BTW, as an aside, in most substations, there is no level of gloves, etc. – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as it is called in the trade – that will protect you....

    STS

  • SailbadTheSinner Apr 17, 2012

    As a power systems engineer, I believe that this is a form of Natural Selection....

    In general, power systems can take care of themselves. I’d just standby and let Nature take its course in this one....

    STS

  • southerntalent Apr 17, 2012

    hey remember the genious who tried to steal the grounding wires from a sub station a year or so ago< a shocking experience>

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