Thieves who steal copper from or around electrical equipment risk serious injury or death by electrocution. Copper is used in electrical equipment to conduct electricity. When a thief touches it without correct safety gear or equipment, the electrical current jumps or strikes the thief, resulting in electrocution.
Stealing copper also impacts others. Ameren workers are placed in danger when copper parts or wiring is stolen from our electrical equipment. In fact, stealing protective grounds from substation equipment compromises the reliability of the system and can result in outages for our customers.
What we are doing:
Ameren's security department is aggressively at the forefront in protecting our property from copper thieves. Their efforts include:
You can help:
- Working with law enforcement to prosecute those who steal copper from us.
- Using Microdot technology to place security marks on copper.
- Installing GPS tracking devices in large spools of copper wire.
- Installing video cameras and employing off-duty police officers to run surveillance in specific locations.
Last year Ameren was victimized of nearly $500,000 in copper theft. The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that metal theft costs U.S. businesses around $1 billion a year.
If you see something suspicious around Ameren equipment, call 911. You may be saving a life!