Thieves steal two km of copper from Hanoi grid

By Viet An   August 12, 2023 | 04:00 pm PT
Thieves steal two km of copper from Hanoi grid
Empty earthing lead husks are left behind under high-voltage power pylons in Hanoi after their copper cores were stolen, August 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Truong
Some 2,000 meters of earthing leads have been stolen from the capital’s high-voltage power grid since April, the Hanoi High-voltage Power Grid company said.

The firm said it is currently operating 68 high-voltage power pylons, but 32 of them are missing their earthing leads due to theft.

At several pylons, bad actors have cut cables, extracted their copper cores, and left the husk lying there right below the pylons. Many cables have been fixed several times, only to be cut and gutted again several more times. Some pylons in Ha Dong District have had their earthing leads stolen as many as eight times, the company said.

The company has deployed several measures to prevent the thefts, including erecting warning signs, barbed wire, and removing the ladders that allow people to climb onto the pylons, all to no avail.

Nguyen Duc Hung, deputy head of the company's power grid operation unit, said if earthing leads are cut, lightning would no longer be directed towards the ground and may destroy cables and other items in the grid, affecting the operation and safety of the power grid.

With 2,000 m worth of earthing leads stolen, total property damage caused by this crime wave is estimated to be at around VND1 billion ($42,087). The company has already informed the authorities of the raids but those responsible have yet to be apprehended.

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