Tucson Electric Power is taking a stand against copper theft.

Electrical system copper theft causes power outages, increases the cost of supplying safe, reliable electricity to our customers, and has the potential to cause serious injury or death.

Copper thieves have caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to TEP’s facilities — costs ultimately paid by our customers.

TEP works to deter copper theft by installing physical barriers to limit access to electric facilities and patrolling them with uniformed security officers. We also have installed motion-activated video surveillance cameras and other electronic surveillance devices.

Police have made dozens of copper-theft arrests based on information compiled by TEP security personnel.

TEP is an active member of the Pima County Metal Theft Task Force, which has worked with the Arizona Legislature to change laws regarding metal theft.

Last year, TEP helped draft metal-theft legislation that was signed into law. The new laws have helped utilities and other businesses work together with metal recyclers and law enforcement agencies to limit the theft of copper and other metals.

In recognition of these efforts, TEP was honored in 2013 with a Community Engagement Award from the Metropolitan Pima Alliance for its collaborative work with legislators, law enforcement agencies, local scrap yards and other stakeholders to curb metal theft and related property damage by strengthening state laws and enforcement efforts.

“Our efforts have significantly increased the level of community awareness about copper theft,” said Richard Hyatt, TEP’s Manager of Corporate Security.

Join us in the fight against copper theft by keeping an eye out for signs that a crime has occurred:

  • Suspicious or unauthorized persons near electric substations
  • Individuals carrying large bundles of wire
  • Missing or misaligned covers to underground electric vaults
  • Cut fences or locks near substations
  • Holes dug underneath fences
  • Missing sections of power lines or ground wires
  • Power lines hanging in the air or lying on the ground

If you see metal theft in progress, call 911. You also can call TEP security at 520-745-3391 or 88-CRIME (520-882-7463) to report information about metal theft from TEP’s facilities.

If your tip leads to an arrest or conviction, you could receive a $1,000 reward.

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