As the global price of copper and other metals begins to rebound, thieves are risking their lives and the lives of innocent people to steal materials that contain copper throughout the Ameren utilities service territory in Illinois and Missouri.
These thieves are placing more than themselves in harm’s way. Copper thefts can cause extensive power outages, fires and explosions that may injure or even kill innocent people. Copper theft is a crime that targets everyone.
Not only have thieves stolen copper wire from Ameren utility facilities, but they have targeted copper wire and pipes at businesses, private homes and apartments.
The best line of defense against copper theft is preparation and vigilance. Ameren recommends these steps:
• If you have information about a copper theft, report it immediately to police or your local Crime Stoppers, an organization that offers rewards but does not ask for a tipster’s name.
• Immediately report to the police any suspicious activity around Ameren utility electric substations or other utility facilities.
• When away from home, make certain your house and outbuildings are securely locked. If you will be gone for an extended period of time, notify the police, have a trusted friend or neighbor watch your property, put lights on timer devices to give the home a “lived in” look and stop mail, newspaper and other deliveries. Make arrangements to have walks and drives cleared of snow.
• Both homeowners and businesses should consider installing exterior motion-sensor lights that help deter thieves and prowlers.
• Store all tools and wire cutters in a secured location.
• Store all materials containing copper in a secured building.
• Secure construction sites. Consider hiring a night security guard.
• Secure vacant houses, apartments and other buildings. These are common targets of copper thieves.
For more safety tips, visit www.ameren.com/safety.
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Contact: Brianne Lindemann, 314-554-2738, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Gallagher, 314-554-2175, email@example.com
With assets of more than $24 billion, St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation owns a diverse mix of electric generating plants strategically located in our Midwest market, with a generating capacity of more than 16,300 megawatts. Through our Missouri and Illinois subsidiaries, we serve 2.4 million electric customers and nearly 1 million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area. Our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. For more information, visit Ameren.com.