GRAYSON COUNTY, TX - With copper thefts on the rise, some companies say they're taking matters into their own hands. But they also want to protect the lives of the suspects trying to steal it.
Mystic Matthews explains why.
The Grayson/Collin Electric Co-op is being inundated with copper thefts. Their CEO says its happening on a weekly basis, sometimes everyday. And its not just costly, its also dangerous.
GCEC is now offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of copper thieves. CEO David McGinnis says each time someone steals copper, they take the chance of electrocuting themselves. That’s because many of those wires have 25-thousand volts of electricity running through them.
And once those wires are gone, it can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500 to fix. McGinnis says just this week, 3200 feet was stolen, which adds up to 600 pounds of copper. That is $2,400 in salvage money.
"The problem is way bigger then benefit that thieves are getting; especially when they cut down aluminum, which doesn't have the copper value. Then they leave it scattered where livestock or tractors can get involved."
Besides the reward, they are installing alarm systems and video surveillance on all facilities in attempt to stop copper theft, at least at GCEC, for good.