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Thieves steal more than two miles of copper from dangerous overhead lines

The ESB has expressed concern for the safety of those stealing the wire.

COPPER THIEVES PUT their lives in danger on Wednesday night when they scaled electricity poles to steal overhead lines.

The theft happened in Kilkenny and Ballyhale and saw a total of 3.6 kilometres of copper stolen.

This worked out as nine spans of wire from a line carrying 38,000 volts – easily enough to kill a person.

In a statement today, the ESB has expressed concern for the people stealing the copper.

“Such metal theft is a very dangerous activity with the thieves putting their own lives at risk,” the utility said.

There have been at least three serious injuries and one fatality linked with copper theft from electricity wires in recent years.

The theft also leaves members of the public in danger, with the depleted lines presenting a hazard.

The utility is asking the public – and especially those in the farming community – to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity.

A campaign by ESB Networks run in cooperation with the gardaí and Crimestoppers was launched last year. Around 27,000 ESB customers were affected in 2015 in 48 separate incidents of theft.

In recent times thieves have also targeted Eircom’s telephone wires, leaving households in rural areas without phone or internet connection. 

Information can be given to Crimestoppers anonymously on 1800 250025 or ESB can be contacted on 1850 372 999.

Read: Power outages and flooding as Storm Imogen continues to blow through Ireland

Also: Explainer: What would mandatory smart metering mean for you?

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