Appeal for information following theft of copper

Friday, 26 May 2023 03:32:29 PM

Police are appealing for information after several copper-theft incidents were reported across Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter Valley.

In April 2023, several incidents of copper theft were reported to police districts around the Hunter area. Notable incidents include:

  • On Tuesday 4 April 2023, copper earth down wires were allegedly stolen from various locations in the Newcastle area including Whitebridge, New Lambton, Hamilton, Redhead, and Cameron Park.
  • On Thursday 6 April 2023, electrical wires were allegedly stolen near the Hunter Expressway Loxford Interchange after a power pole was cut down.
  • On Thursday 13 April 2023, electrical wires were allegedly stolen near Abermain after a power pole was again cut down.
  • On Friday 14 April 2023, a roll of copper conductor wire was allegedly stolen from a substation at Awaba.

Several incidents of suspicious activity near electrical-supply facilities have also been reported to police.

The thefts have occurred at work sites, factories, utilities and residential premises in both metro and rural locations.

Investigators continue to pursue lines of inquiry surrounding the theft of copper and urge anyone with information to come forward.

The incidents have also prompted safety warnings from Ausgrid’s EGM of Field Operations, Sam Sofi, who said people are putting their lives at risk by interfering with live electrical assets.

“Copper theft is a serious public safety issue. Not only do the perpetrators put their own lives at risk, they also endanger the community by leaving powerlines exposed," Mr Sofi said.

“Contact with powerlines can kill you. There are no second chances with electricity and no amount of copper is worth a life."

If you see fallen powerlines always assume they are live, stay at least eight metres back and call Ausgrid on 13 13 88.

Anyone with information about copper theft is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.