Grant County PUD and Sheriff urge locals to recognize and report metal theft

November 2, 2012

 EPHRATA, Wash. – Customers in northern Grant County experienced a power outage this past weekend due to what appears to be metal theft from electrical equipment. Grant PUD and the Grant County Sheriff’s Department remind residents that stealing wire and metal components from electric equipment is dangerous, illegal and must be reported. Not only can it lead to deadly consequences for the thief, it endangers crews making repairs. Grant PUD and the local sheriff’s department urge you to report any suspicious activity near electric facilities or equipment immediately.

“By members of the community partnering with us we are able to take action against thieves who put their lives and public safety on the line for scrap metal,” said Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones.

What to look for:

  • Missing sections of power lines or ground wires
  • Dangling strands of power lines in the air or lying on the ground
  • Missing or misaligned covers to underground vaults
  • Cut fences or locks near electric substations
  • Holes dug underneath security fences
  • Suspicious or unauthorized persons near electric equipment (i.e. substations, power poles, transformers etc.)

Utilities across the country have seen a rise in metal theft recently and Grant PUD is not exempt. One instance in 2011 resulted in $15 thousand worth of conductor wire being stolen from a substation construction site. 

For businesses interested in learning about individuals in the area that are prohibited from selling scrap metal, visit the sheriff’s department metal and copper theft prevention webpage:

To report a non-emergency call MACC Dispatch at: (509) 762-1160. If you are reporting a crime in progress dial 9-1-1.

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Established by local residents over 75 years ago, Grant PUD generates and delivers energy to millions of customers throughout the Pacific Northwest. What began as a grassroots movement of public power has evolved into one of the premiere providers of renewable energy at some of the most affordable rates in the nation. For more information visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Thomas Stredwick

Public Affairs Officer

(509) 793-1571 /


Kyle Foreman

Public Information Officer

(509) 754-2011 Ext. 468 /

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