Thieves break into power substations, stealing valuable copper


BANGOR (AP) – Maine state police are investigating break-ins at Bangor-Hydro Co. electrical substations in which valuable copper was stolen.

Someone vandalized four stations in the town of Chester and took thousands of dollars worth of copper wiring, investigators said.

Bangor-Hydro was concerned about the thefts and damage, but the company and troopers also were concerned about the safety of the perpetrators, who put themselves at risk by getting close to high-voltage equipment, Trooper Jarrod Stedman said.

Spiking copper prices on the international markets may have had something to do with the thefts. In the past month, copper went from $2.45 a pound to $4 a pound before dropping this week on the London Metal Exchange.

The stolen copper was used to ground equipment in the station, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.