GLENDALE, California – Glendale Water & Power (GWP) officials today urged the public to report any suspicious persons around electrical equipment that are not City employees or driving properly marked vehicles. GWP officials made the announcement after someone allegedly climbed a power pole to steal copper wire and also damaged a phone ground wire. Police and GWP are still investigating the incident.
Glenn Steiger, General Manager of GWP, is urging all customers to report any suspicious activity near electrical equipment or power poles. “If customers see anyone removing wires from equipment, and they aren’t using official City vehicles, they should call the Police Department,” says Steiger. “We believe it is better to err on the side of caution and report a possible crime and the matter will be investigated,” added Steiger.
Glendale has seen a sudden rise in metal and copper wire theft in the last two years. Customers are urged to contact authorities if they see people lingering near electrical equipment or inactive construction sites. Stealing copper wire is a crime and very costly for the City, but the bigger issue is public safety. Tampering with wires can cause serious harm, bodily injury or death. Power and telephone outages can also result from copper wire theft.
City officials ask that residents be vigilant in watching for unusual activity at any fire hydrant and call the Glendale Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (818) 507-STOP or Sergeant Vahak Mardikian, who is in charge of the Glendale Police Department’s Burglary Unit at (818) 547-3127.
In the event a subject is observed trying to copper wiring, a detailed description of any vehicle used to leave the scene and its occupants would be critical to investigators to follow-up on this crime and may lead to an arrest of the suspects that are stealing from the City and its customers.