Iowa’s electric utilities have teamed up with Crime Stoppers, a national organization that provides awards for information leading to arrests, to create a toll-free phone line, 800-452-1111, for citizens to report suspicious activities at an electric utility’s substation or around other equipment, such as a transformer, power pole, or even the meter at a residence, farm, or business.
This step is in response to the increase in copper theft from electric utilities. These thefts can cause power surges, outages, fires, explosions, and injuries to utility workers or others coming into contact with equipment that has been tampered with. In addition, post-theft repairs can run into tens of thousands of dollars for each incident.
Once a tip is received, Crime Stoppers will contact law enforcement. After the caller has seen or heard on the local news that a crime has been solved, he or she can call Crime Stoppers to receive instructions for claiming a cash reward up to $1,000, although most rewards range from $20-200. The caller’s identity and other information will remain anonymous.
Electric utilities and organizations involved in the creation and continuing support of the Crime Stoppers program to stop copper theft in Iowa include Alliant Energy, the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, and MidAmerican Energy Co. For more information contact Bob Dickelman at 515-229-3232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.