Skip to main content

Nova Scotia Power sees increase in copper wire thefts, with dozens of cases this year

Copper wire is pictured in an undated file photo. Copper wire is pictured in an undated file photo.

Nova Scotia's electric utility is warning about the dangers of copper wire thefts after an increase in thefts from its electrical equipment and substations over the last several months.

Nova Scotia Power says ground wire, which is designed to protect workers and prevent equipment failures, has been stolen in many cases.

The utility says there has been “a couple dozen cases” of wire thefts in every region of the province over the last several months.

While no injuries have been reported, Nova Scotia Power issued a warning Wednesday about the dangers of stealing electrical equipment.

The utility’s senior director of transmission and distribution operations says wire theft poses a very high risk of electrocution.

“Live wire can carry more than 25,000 volts of electricity,” Matt Drover said in a news release. “A charge from that wire would be life-threatening or fatal for anyone in the vicinity and can cause significant damage to our equipment. Removing the wire can also generate an unstable electrical current for nearby customers and create dangerous working conditions for our crews.”

Vandals recently targeted a substation on Meeting House Road in Upper Onslow, N.S, resulting in a significant power outage last weekend.

The Nova Scotia RCMP says someone broke in, caused damage and stole a “significant amount” of copper Saturday morning.

More than 20,000 Nova Scotia Power customers in the Truro, N.S., area lost power due to the incident. The utility had to cut power for more than an hour to allow crews to make repairs.

Police say their investigation is ongoing.

Nova Scotia Power and the RCMP are asking anyone with information about copper wire thefts to report it to their local RCMP or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. Top Stories

Stay Connected