Police in the Bay of Plenty are warning that an injury or death is inevitable amid a surge in copper cable thefts in the Te Puke area.
In a post on the Bay of Plenty and Taupo Police Facebook page, Te Puke police have appealed for the public to report any suspicious activity around power poles and lines in the region.
“Police are aware of around 73 poles in Powerco’s electricity network, which have been targeted in the community and stripped of their copper cabling,” says the police statement.
Police are asking for anyone who sees anyone acting suspiciously around power poles and lines, particularly in rural areas, to ring 111 immediately.
On the left, a pole and earth wire intact. On the right, the earth wire removed. Photo. BOP Police Facebook.
“Police have seen many instances of potentially live wires being left hanging down, or earth cables being cut when people have stolen cables, thieves may not realise they are putting their lives and those of the public at risk by stealing it.
“It’s only a matter of time until either a thief, or an innocent member of the public, is injured or killed because of these actions.”
Police encourage people, particularly in rural areas, to join or form neighbourhood support groups and remain vigilant for suspicious activity in their area.
Anyone who can assist with information is asked to call 105 and quote file number 210922/9344 .
Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.