Thieves risk their lives to steal copper wire from Nova Scotia Power substation
Halifax police and Nova Scotia Power officials are expressing alarm after some copper wiring was stolen from a substation in the Spryfield area of Halifax.
The theft led to a short-term power outage that impacted thousands and could have been deadly for the people responsible.
It’s a crime that has Spryfield resident Pete Fraser shaking his head.
“I say they're friggin nuts,” said Fraser.
The latest break-in and theft occurred early Monday morning.
“Unfortunately, it happens from time to time,” said Nova Scotia Power spokesman David Rodenhiser.
It was a dangerous situation, Rodenhiser, says, and not just for the thief or thieves who stole the wiring.
“They risked their lives and they risked the lives of our employees who go in and maintain this equipment,” Rodenhiser said.
Rodenhiser says the Nova Scotia Power workers who replaced the copper wires were required to enter an extremely dangerous area.
“It causes the equipment to possibly send electricity into nearby metal infrastructure and even the ground,” Rodenhiser said.
On Monday, crews replaced the wiring, but there were no injuries.
There was also a planned power outage while the repairs were made.
“It was only like 20 minutes maybe a half hour,” Fraser said.“It went off just before Days of Our Lives came on. They called in advance to warn me.”
Thousands of customers in Spryfield were impacted.
For about 12 minutes, 12,000 customers in the Spryfield area were without power. About 5,000 were without power for 55 minutes.
Police say the investigation is in the early stages.
“We certainly would ask anyone who has information in relation to this to come forward,” said Halifax police Const. John MacLeod.
They'll continue to canvas the area and search for suspects and make every attempt to ensure it doesn't happen again.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Paul Hollingsworth.