Operational Update

Thieves cut down two power poles in Surrey with chainsaws

Two power poles cut down with chainsaws by thieves in Surrey

VANCOUVER – BC Hydro is asking the public to report any suspicious activity around power infrastructure after two dangerous incidents in Surrey on Sunday. Thieves risked death or serious injury when they used chainsaws to cut down power poles on two separate properties. The perpetrators brought the poles down to strip the transformers of their copper.

Metal theft is a huge concern for BC Hydro. It is a crime that affects the safety of the public and BC Hydro employees, and also has an impact on the reliability of the electrical system.

In one case, the electrical equipment attached to the power pole was de-energized. The equipment attached to the other pole was energized. The power line had 25,000 volts of electricity running through it when it was brought down, causing a grass fire. This could have injured or killed a member of the public or BC Hydro employees.

BC Hydro wants to remind the public it is never safe to assume any electrical equipment is de-energized. A downed power line is dangerous and should be treated as an emergency. Stay back at least 10 metres – the length of a standard bus – and dial 911 immediately.

BC Hydro is working with the RCMP to investigate these incidents.

BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468