Dangers of Metal Theft

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Copper Theft Consequences

The Copper Theft Fact Sheet (PDF) explains the copper theft problem and identifies ways to prevent this alarming and deadly crime.

What You Can Do

If you suspect metal theft, you can

  • Contact your local law enforcement agency
  • Contact SWEPCO Arkansas at 800-482-8998
  • Contact SWEPCO Louisiana at 800-272-3020

Recognize and Report Metal Theft

Stealing wire and equipment from electric utilities is dangerous, illegal and must be reported. Metal theft can cause:

  • Power surges or outages
  • Injury to an innocent person coming in contact with tampered equipment

Steps We're Taking

We are working with law enforcement, community leaders, and scrap metal centers to raise awareness of metal theft dangers.

What to Look For

Indications of metal theft include:

  • Missing sections of power lines or ground wires
  • Power lines hanging in the air or lying on the ground
  • Missing or misaligned covers to underground vaults
  • Cut fences or locks near electric substations
  • Holes dug underneath fences
  • Suspicious or unauthorized persons near substations; authorized personnel include Southwestern Electric Power Company personnel or Southwestern Electric Power Company-hired subcontractors
  • Individuals carrying large bundles of wire