Mays Landing, N.J. – Recently there have been several instances of theft of wire from Atlantic City Electric’s lines, substations, and equipment yards.
“The resale value of wire, particularly copper and aluminum, is high right now. However, the price to be paid by thieves could be even higher,” said Ron Dollin, Atlantic City Electric Manager of Security Services. “It is only a matter of time before luck runs out and someone is seriously hurt.”
The theft of wire from utility lines and equipment also can endanger others by leaving an unsafe condition of which utility workers and the public might not be aware. “If ground wires have been stolen or fences cut exposing dangerous equipment, anyone in the area – especially children –could be injured,” explained Dollin.
Altering the lines also degrades the reliability of the system. Customers could experience uneven voltage, which could damage electronic equipment or cause blown light bulbs, or an extended outage could put businesses out of service for hours causing them to lose revenue.
In addition to the cost of wire that is stolen and the cost to replace the lines, Atlantic City Electric crews have to spend hours repairing equipment and replacing the stolen wire. This is time that is not being spent on other work important to our customers. Eventually these costs are borne by all our customers much the same way that theft in department and grocery stores affects the price of goods.
“This is a serious problem with safety and reliability consequences,” Dollin said. “Safety is a core value at Atlantic City Electric. We are asking for the public’s help before someone is seriously injured or the electric system is undermined where a theft has occurred,” Dollin added.
If you see someone that doesn’t appear to be an Atlantic City Electric employee working on or near electric lines, call your local police.
Atlantic City Electric, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe, reliable and affordable regulated electric delivery services to more than 500,000 customers in southern New Jersey.