Copper Thieves Target Utility Companies, Not Homes

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JEFFERSON CITY - Despite a recent rise in the value of copper, homeowners have little to fear from copper thieves. Due to the limited amount of copper scrap metal and copper wire found in some homes, the Missouri Highway Patrol said most thieves wouldn't bother taking the chance of getting caught.

However, businesses like Ameren UE and electrical contractors are the biggest targets for copper thieves. These businesses often have a good amount of copper at their facilities, whether in the form of copper wire or scrap metal.

Some businesses use security cameras and fences to keep out thieves. Unfortunately, an attempted break-in at an Ameren substation in Illinois left one man with burns over most of his body.

As a result, some Ameren officials started reiterating the dangers of entering any of their substations with tall fences and "Danger: High Voltage" signs all over them. Entering such facilities not only puts thieves at risk, but they could potentially cause a power outage and harm anyone receiving power from the facilities.

Ameren asks that you report any suspicious activity near construction sites and utility substations. For your home, consider installing motion detector lighting, and if you'll be away from home you should stop mail and newspaper delivery until you return.