Arrest Made After Powerline Tampering In Christchurch

Police are appealing for information that would assist in identifying offenders following a number of reports of powerline tampering and theft that has taken place across Christchurch.

A search warrant was executed this morning by Christchurch Police at a Rangiora address in connection to recent overhead power line thefts from January and February in Christchurch.

A 42-year-old man has been charged with theft and intentional damage causing danger to life.

Thefts have been reported since the weekend on Halswell Junction, Mcteigue Road, Cable Street, Clifton Terrace, Mount Pleasant Road, Sparks Road, Shaw Avenue and Pannell Avenue.

A number of these places have been affected more than once, with all of the incidents occurring in the early hours of the morning.

The latest incident on Pannell Avenue this morning cut power to 79 homes in the area, while tampering on Mcteigue Road early Sunday left wires exposed near a kindergarten.

Fortunately, no one has been harmed, but as far as Police are concerned it is only a matter of time.

“The harm this has the potential to cause is serious – imagine if you were on your way to work, walking children to school or walking the dog and came into contact with exposed wires,” says Senior Sergeant Roy Appley.

“Our message to offenders is to stop this behaviour before someone gets hurt, including yourself.

“You are putting yourselves and others at extreme risk of electrocution, for such a small return.”

Police have spoken with residents and businesses in affected areas and are appealing to the public to provide any information that could assist in identifying and locating those involved.

“If you hear anything out of the ordinary overnight, do not think nothing of it. In a previous instance of powerline tampering a neighbour heard the sound of an angle grinder and immediately notified Police leading to an arrest.

“We need Christchurch residents to be aware of the risk of exposed or damaged wires – do not touch them and call Orion on 0800 363 9898 straight away,” says Snr Sgt Appley.

Police urge residents to ring 111 immediately if you see anyone acting suspiciously around power poles and lines, or 105 after the fact.

/NZ Police Public Release. View in full here.