Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
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Help SMECO Stop Copper Theft

Utility pole

It costs you money

It's dangerous

It's illegal

It disrupts your service

Safety is SMECO’s top priority.  We want our employees and our customers to stay safe.  Stealing copper wire and other metal equipment from utility power lines and substations is dangerous, interrupting electric service and endangering lives.

Individuals who steal copper wire from the electric utility are not just stealing from SMECO—they are also stealing from every customer-member. As owners of the cooperative, customers end up paying for copper theft when the cost of repairing damage and increasing security is reflected in their electric bills.

SMECO is looking for your help. Follow these tips from our Cooperative Review newsletter to help prevent copper theft and safeguard against electrical dangers.

Report Copper Theft: 1-866-411-TIPS

To help stop copper theft, SMECO is partnering with Crime Solvers of Charles County to offer a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest or indictment of individuals who steal copper wire from the electric distribution system in Southern Maryland.

Please call 1-866-411-TIPS (1-866-411-8477) to report a tip. All tipsters remain anonymous.

Tips to Prevent Copper Theft

Follow these tips to help prevent copper theft and safeguard against electrical dangers:

  • Never enter or touch equipment inside a substation; stay away from power lines and anything touching a power line.
  • If you notice anything unusual with electric substations or facilities—an open substation gate, open equipment cabinet, hanging wire, or persons other than utility employees or contractors near the facilities—contact the local police or SMECO immediately.
  • Store bolt cutters, wire cutters, and other tools in a secure location, and never leave them out while away.
  • Help spread the word about the deadly consequences that can result from trying to steal copper.

Press Release: SMECO partners with Crime Solvers
to Solve Copper Theft

Cooperative Review, February 2011: A life is worth more than a few dollars—stop copper theft