Central Hudson is reporting a serious safety risk due to local thieves who are making vital equipment dangerously unsafe.

The warning comes after several thefts have been reported at Central Hudson substations in Dutchess County.

According to State Police, thieves have already hit several locations in Northern Dutchess County. So far, the robbers have successfully broken into substations in Smithfield, Hibernia, and Stanfordville. Investigators are hoping to stop any further robberies.

Central Hudson says that the suspects are removing "in use ground wires," resulting in a destabilization of the electric substations.

Not only is this dangerous to the suspects, but the repairs to ground wires are extremely dangerous and could lead to transformer explosions causing injury or death to workers as well as interruptions in service.

The wires, made of copper, are most likely being sold for scrap.

Copper is a popular item for thieves to target, whether it be wires, piping or mechanical components. Currently, the price of copper is around $3 a pound, which doesn't seem like much but can add up for thieves who can find an abundance of the metal.

Unfortunately, the copper ground wires being taken from Central Hudson can cause serious risks to workers and residents.

In an effort to stop the theft of vital equipment from Central Hudson, the power company is offering a reward of $5,000 for any information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those who have been taking the ground wires. those with any information as to the identity or location of the persons responsible are encouraged to contact the New York State Police at (845) 677-7300.

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