Copper Wiring Theft Results in Power Outage for Emergency Repairs

AEP Ohio  continues to offer reward for information leading to successful convictions
GAHANNA, Ohio, Nov. 16, 2009AEP Ohio interrupted power to thousands of customers in the Grove City area this morning to make emergency repairs to the company’s McComb Substation, which was hit by copper thieves over the weekend.
“We had to interrupt power to nearly 12,000 customers in the Grove City area to protect our employees and the public while our crews repaired damage caused by these thefts,” says Natalie McCord, AEP Ohio Columbus District manager distribution system. “This theft created an extremely hazardous situation that potentially could have resulted in serious injury or death to our employees or anyone near the station. As soon as the theft was discovered, it was reported to local law enforcement and we acted immediately to de-energize the station to eliminate the risk of dangerous, high voltage shock. Thieves can be and have been seriously injured or killed when removing copper from energized electrical equipment.”
When AEP employees discover station break-ins or equipment thefts, employees immediately report the theft to AEP’s dispatch center and to the appropriate local law enforcement agency. The McComb break-in was reported to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
These incidents also are very costly to the company and potentially could affect customers’ future electric rates. It costs AEP Ohio roughly $25,000 per incident on average to repair. Since mid-June, Approximately 40 AEP Ohio substations have been hit by copper thieves. Approximately 12 of these break-ins required outages to make repairs, affecting more than 66,000 AEP Ohio customers.
Theft of copper from electric facilities is not a new problem. It happens repeatedly year after year, generally increasing through the spring and early summer and again as the holidays approach. In continuing efforts to raise public awareness, AEP Ohio has taken numerous steps to curb these thefts, including using broadcast and print media and billboards to communicate information about copper theft. In recorded telephone messages to customers in areas hit by copper thefts, AEP Ohio asks customers to report any suspicious activity near substations, power lines and other electrical equipment to AEP Ohio’s security hotline at 866-747-5845 or to 911. The telephone message informs customers the company offers up to a $5,000 reward to anyone who provides information resulting in an arrest and conviction for theft and vandalism at AEP Ohio facilities.
In addition to instituting the reward, AEP Ohio began installing copper-clad wire in its facilities late in 2008.  Copper-clad wire has a steel core, no scrap dollar value and is difficult to cut. The company this summer began distributing door hangers containing AEP Ohio’s security hotline number in the Columbus area to residents who live near AEP Ohio substations that have been hit by thieves. The company also is deploying new security technology around its facilities.
Residents, as well as the company’s customers, are encouraged to call AEP Ohio’s 24/7, toll-free security hotline at 1-866-747-5845 or local law enforcement to report suspicious activity around AEP Ohio facilities. Additional information on copper theft can be found at aepohio.com.
AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power Company and Ohio Power Company in Ohio, and Wheeling Power Company in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio. The company serves all or part of 61 counties in Ohio and two in West Virginia

More From I&M

Mobile App Learn more

The Power is in Your Hands

Find Out How Save Money & Energy

Save Money & Energy

Sign Up Now Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Learn More Understanding Your Residential Bill

Understanding Your Residential Bill

Select your state:

Visit AEP.com
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the AEP Terms and Conditions. View our Privacy Policy. © 1996-2019 American Electric Power. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), a unit of American Electric Power (AEP)


This Privacy Policy applies only to IndianaMichiganPower.com and the Indiana Michigan Power customer mobile app (com.aep.customerapp.im). Other AEP websites and apps may be governed by their own privacy policies, appropriate to the uses and needs of each. Throughout the site or app, we may provide links to resources and sites that are not part of IndianaMichiganPower.com or the Indiana Michigan Power customer mobile app. This Privacy Policy does not apply to those resources and sites.


By using this site or app, you consent to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Whenever you submit information via this site or app, you agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Information Collected

  1. Passively collected information

    During your use of this site or app, we may collect anonymous information about your visit here through the use of server logs, cookies, scripts, tracking pixels and other Web traffic tracking systems. This information is aggregated and used to improve user experience through analysis of user activities. This information is never combined with any of the personally identifiable information you may provide in your use of the features of this site or app.
  2. Personally identifiable information

    On certain forms of this site or app, you may be asked to provide information about yourself or your account with us, either to identify yourself to us or to request a service from us. In each case, we will inform you what information is provided at your option and what information is required to complete the transaction or activity you are engaged in. If you are unwilling to provide this required information, you will be unable to complete the requested transaction.

Use and disclosure of information

The information you provide to us will be used to respond to requests you may make for services. Some or all of this information may be added to your permanent account record and may be used for research purposes.

In addition, we may use elements of this information in the following situations:

  1. We may transfer the information to I&M’s affiliates and subsidiaries, unless such transfer is prohibited by law;
  2. We may transfer the information as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition, divestiture or other corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy);
  3. We may make the information available to third parties who are providing the product, service or information that you have requested (but not your password);
  4. We may make such information available to third parties who are providing services to I&M (for example, providing the information to third parties performing computer-related services for I&M);
  5. We may use the information to communicate with you about products and services that may be of interest to you.
  6. We may disclose the information if we form a good-faith belief that disclosure of such information is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding any illegal activities or regarding interference with the operation of our site or violation of its terms of use; or
  7. We may disclose the information if we believe that disclosure is required by law or regulation or in response to a subpoena or other order of a court or other governmental agency.

I&M uses Flurry Analytics Service (provided by Yahoo) in order to improve its mobile apps. Flurry’s privacy policy governs the use of this information.

Also, I&M reserves the right to share any aggregated information (i.e., non-personally identifiable information) with any third parties for any reason, unless prohibited by law.

We will not sell, rent or otherwise disclose the information we gather about you or your account to any third party, except as outlined in this Privacy Policy.


I&M takes reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as it is transferred to us, through the use of Web technologies such as the Secure Sockets Layer and others. However, no Internet transmission of information is ever completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from I&M may not be secure.

How to Reach Us

If you would like to update your personally identifiable information or if you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact us.

Changes to This Policy

I&M reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. If this Privacy Policy changes, the revised policy will be posted to this site. Please review this Privacy Policy before you provide any personally identifiable information through this site. Use of our web site after the posting of a revised privacy policy constitutes your consent to the revised policy.

This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

Close ×

Sign Up For Alerts

Subscribing to I&M alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Win an Xbox One with Alerts!

Enroll in alerts to be eligible to win. Subscribing to I&M alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Loading video...