SA Power Networks offers $20,000 reward after Murraylands copper thefts

Thieves have targeted electical substations at White Sands, Jervois, Caloote and Mannum.

SA Power Networks is offering a $20,000 reward for information about four recent thefts from electrical substations in the Murraylands.

Two substations on Jervois Road, at White Sands and Jervois, were broken into last Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.

Electrical equipment was interfered with and a length of copper cabling stolen.

Similar thefts had already occurred at two other local substations: one on Maczkowiack Road at Caloote, at some point during the past three weeks; and another on Mannum Road at Mannum, between May 28 and last Friday.

SAPN spokesman Paul Roberts said 14 substations across the state had been broken into during the past month.

“Someone must know something, whether it is information about who is breaking into the substations or even who is buying the stolen copper,” he said.

“These people are risking their lives and seriously compromising the electricity network and the safety of our employees and the community.

“They also have caused a number of power outages affecting about 8000 customers, as we have had to turn off supply to maintain community safety.”

That included recent outages at Jervois and Caloote.

Police are investigating the break-ins, and warned that anyone who entered an electrical substation was taking a significant risk.

“Just stepping into a substation site is dangerous, as you do not have to touch equipment to be electrocuted,” Mr Roberts said.

He encouraged anyone who lived near a substation to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

Only SA Power Networks workers in clearly marked vehicles would ordinarily enter a substation, he said.

Cables were also stolen from a business on Maurice Road, Murray Bridge sometime between 7 and 9am last Thursday, along with a quantity of copper piping.

Anyone with information on any of the thefts should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or at www.crimestopperssa.com.au.

Anyone who sees any suspicious activity should call SA Police on 131 444.


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