Energex will roll out more CCTV cameras at its depots in an effort to catch copper wire thieves.
Energex will roll out more CCTV cameras at its depots in an effort to catch copper wire thieves.

Extra eyes catching copper-stealing crooks red-handed

ENERGEX has warned crooks responsible for copper theft will now appear on video as the electricity distributor rolls out more covert CCTV cameras.

Earlier this year, the Sunshine Coast was among multiple locations hit by crooks who began stealing copper from the live electricity network.

Energex warned this not only risked their lives but those within surrounding homes and businesses by reducing the grid’s earth safety capabilities.

In addition to a number of security measures already in place, Energex has increased live video surveillance within its depots, begun installing covert cameras on their poles and deployed mobile security trailers to its construction worksites.

Energex’s head of corporate security Justin Morghem said the beefed-up security was not just about catching people stealing equipment, it was also about keeping the community safe from crooks destroying vital electrical safety equipment.

“What these people are doing is extremely dangerous,” Mr Morghem said.

“We’ve significantly increased security measures to protect the community and to ensure those carrying out the theft will now be caught on CCTV camera and the video handed to the police.

“These smart trailers are fully connected to our live monitoring via video around the clock, they also have sirens, floodlights and our staff can even verbally contact the would-be crooks over loudspeakers.

“Furthermore, anyone who attempts to tamper with the trailers will get the surprise of their life by instantly activating all security devices on it.”

Acting Minister for Mines and Energy Mark Ryan said the crooks were undertaking an extremely high-risk activity for very little reward.

“In carrying out these thefts these thieves can very easily kill themselves instantly,” Mr Ryan said.

“Ultimately this entire stepped-up security process is about keeping the community safe from a few mindless crooks.”

Energex has also urged the community to call police if they see someone acting suspiciously around the power network or depots.

Call police or Energex directly on 13 12 53.