Pacific Power Posts $3,000 Cash Reward for Metal Theft Convictions

February 21, 2013

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. – In January, brazen thieves stole a third of a mile of wire along a rural road outside Smith River. Luckily this time, the outage only affected one pump, but it was part of more than $100,000 in wire thefts committed against Pacific Power and its customers in Del Norte County since late 2011.

This theft and others are why Pacific Power has posted a $3,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals who are harming Pacific Power’s system supplying electricity to Crescent City-area homes and businesses.

“This is a serious problem that has been ongoing for more than two years,” said Doug Butler, vice president of operations for Pacific Power. “Wire theft has spiked over this winter. It creates an unnecessary safety and financial burden on our customers and we are taking aggressive action to stop it.”

Removing wire puts crews at risk as they go about their work on the local power grid. And the repairs put additional cost pressure on Pacific Power as it works to minimize any future rate increases. “Resulting outages inconvenience our customers, and the thieves themselves are in mortal danger as they perform these criminal acts,” Butler said.

Pacific Power is marking its wire for later identification. This tactic helps link suspects to the stolen wire when they try to sell it.
Working with law enforcement authorities, Pacific Power asks the public to help put a halt to this criminal activity. The reward is offered for information that leads to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of individuals responsible for the crimes.

Law enforcement officials and Pacific Power ask residents to report any incidents where they see individuals loitering near service yards, climbing poles or carrying coiled wire when there are no Pacific Power vehicles in the vicinity. Except during local power outages, Pacific Power crews will not be working at night.

Actual Pacific Power crews use company-marked vehicles, wear company gear and surround any work vehicles with orange safety cones. At this time, there are no contract crews performing work for Pacific Power, and they will not be engaged except during an extended or widespread outage. Anyone working on power lines or facilities and not clearly identified as a Pacific Power crew should be considered suspicious.

If residents see any suspicious activity around power poles, do not confront these individuals, but dial 9-1-1. If anyone has knowledge of past thefts, please call Del Norte County Sheriff, 707-464-4191.

About Pacific Power
Pacific Power provides electric service to more than 730,000 customers in Oregon, Washington and California. Our goal is to provide our customers with value for their energy dollar, and safe, reliable electricity. Pacific Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, with 1.7 million customers in six western states.