Thieves who broke into an electricity substation near Ayr in the early hours of Tuesday morning to steal scrap metal are being sought by the Police. The criminals damaged equipment in the substation and were lucky not to be seriously injured.
Supplies to 33,000 customers were put at risk due to the theft. ScottishPower engineers were on the scene quickly to carry out repairs and secure supplies.
Electricity substations are vital pieces of equipment that ensure homes and businesses have a safe and secure supply of electricity.
The criminals left the substations unsecured, meaning that members of the general public could have been put at risk. ScottishPower engineers were also faced with unnecessary dangers when they were called out to carry out repairs and secure the buildings.
Commenting on the break-in, Guy Jefferson, Network Operations Director at ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “It beggars belief that anyone would put their own life at risk by tampering with thousands of volts of electricity in order to steal small amounts of copper that have a minimal scrap value. You don’t even need to come into direct contact with the equipment in a substation to receive a potentially fatal shock.
“The copper helps to ensure the network remains safe and those involved in carrying out this break-in have shown little regard for their own safety, the public and that of our employees. The serious nature of these thefts should not be under estimated as any interference to our equipment can cause fluctuations in voltage which pose a potential fire risk to homes and damage to electrical appliances.
"We are working closely with the Police to try and make sure those responsible are caught, and would encourage anyone who witnesses suspicious activity beside electricity equipment to report this to their local Police station.
ScottishPower is willing to pay a reward to anyone who provides credible information that leads to a conviction against those involved. Our confidential hotline on 0800 027 1950 is open 24 hours a day.”
Media Information: Jane Holmes 0141 614 4549 / 07753 622207