LIVINGSTON, Feb. 11, 2011 – In the early morning hours of Feb. 11, thieves stripped Sam Houston Electric Cooperative’s Tarkington substation of copper, causing a power outage to 3,500 consumers.

Sam Houston EC engineers and line technicians were immediately dispatched after the 5 a.m. outage to begin replacing copper wiring and making repairs to damaged equipment.

“Keeping our electrical distribution system in top working order is a daily focus,” said Larry Horn, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative Livingston operations supervisor. “Copper theft is dangerous, costly and continues to be a growing problem.”

Unfortunately, perpetrators do not realize how extremely dangerous this crime is. Even if copper thieves succeed, they cause a great disservice to the public. Not only is copper theft costly to Cooperative members, but also those who depend on electricity to power health care equipment are placed at risk by the carelessness of copper thieves.

When outages such as this occur, Sam Houston EC’s goal is to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

The evening prior to Friday’s outages, thieves also hit the Cooperative’s Long John substation. Fortunately, no outages occurred as a result of this particular theft. Sam Houston EC will work with local law enforcement to identify and arrest those responsible for both incidents.

Sam Houston EC received its charter May 16, 1939, and has been providing electricity to East Texas ever since. The Cooperative was founded by a handful of farmers and rural residents who dreamed of bringing “power to the people.” In the early 1940s, there were just over 600 Co-op members. Today, Sam Houston EC serves 51,000 members and 67,000 meters across parts of 10 counties.


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