Central Hudson is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the individual(s) who broke into the Smithfield, Hibernia, and Stanfordville Substations, stole copper wiring, and subsequently caused significant damage to equipment within the substations.
“Law enforcement officials are working closely with Central Hudson to identify the individual(s),” said Ryan Hawthorne, Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations. “Our primary concern in preventing the theft of copper and metals is to protect our employees and the public and maintain the safety of our facilities.”
Any information should be provided to the New York State Police 845-677-7300 or the Central Hudson Theft of Service Hotline 877-728-3465.
Central Hudson is reminding customers to exercise caution around electrical substations and to never enter a substation without authorized Central Hudson personnel.
“There are hazards inherent when working with electricity which is why safety is always the top priority at Central Hudson,” said Hawthorne. “This is especially true at substations that are filled with sensitive equipment that is carrying electricity at high voltages. Only highly trained, certified personnel with the proper personal protective equipment should be in these areas.”
The recent acts of theft and vandalism at some of Central Hudson substations, underscores the need to, once again, publicly disseminate this safety information. The trespassers at the Stanfordville, Smithfield and Hibernia substations in Dutchess County put themselves in harm’s way by cutting out copper ground wire which resulted in significant equipment failure.
“These wires and materials are employed to provide safe and reliable service to our customers. Theft of these items not only increases costs because they must be replaced, but place perpetrators and utility personnel in danger, as the wires are often used as a safety measure for electrical transformers and other equipment so that they can be safely handled and maintained,” Hawthorne explained. “Removing these wires may cause serious injury or death to thieves, as well as to utility personnel or others who may later approach the equipment.”