Copper Theft



Copper wire reels and toolsThefts of copper, aluminum, and other metals from various sources are on the rise, most dangerously from electric utility poles and substations. But in the pursuit of copper, intruders are gambling with their lives. Robbers have taken to cutting through substation fencing to take copper reels, and copper products have also been stolen from utility trucks, transformers, work sites and storage facilities. Many electric utilities, including Elmhurst have been targeted across the country. In some cases intruders have been electrocuted and killed.

There have been complaints of copper theft locally and in the state, enough to cause growing concern over member safety.


Elmhurst cares about the safety of our members. To protect the public we surround our substations with secure fencing, post warning signs, and have security systems with cameras at each substation.  But some thieves will not be deterred.

No one should ever climb substation fences, utility poles or towers; stay away from power lines and anything touching a power line.

Copper is used to ground our equipment, protecting it from electrical surges and lightning by giving electricity a safe path to ground. When copper grounding is removed from our poles and equipment, outages are more likely and hazardous conditions develop. It is costly to replace the copper grounding. And, that costs our member’s money!

Copper Theft is a Serious Crime

Stealing copper is extremely dangerous and is against the law! Copper theft is a felony crime and offenders will be prosecuted!

What Can You Do?  CALL 911!

If you notice anything unusual, or see anyone other than our utility personnel or contractors around substations, vehicles, poles or other electric facilities, please call 911 immediately and Elmhurst at (253) 531-4646.