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Xcel partners with Crime Stoppers to prevent theft

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Amarillo Texas - An area business is partnering up with Crime Stoppers to solve some reoccurring crimes.

Xcel Energy and Amarillo Crime stoppers have joined forces to battle the ever growing problem of copper theft.

"We're here today to announce the partnership with Amarillo Crime Stoppers to help us solve and prevent copper theft," Wes Reeves, Xcel Energy Media Relations says.

Copper theft has continually been on the rise as the price for metals increases. Reeves says their power substations have been a target.

"Electric utility like us, we use a lot of copper in what we do. We use it also as a safety device. We have grounding wires that take straight current into the ground. So it's very important that no one mess with these facilities," Reeves says.

With the help of Amarillo Crime Stoppers they hope to obtain information from residents who see these crimes in action.

"We have so many of these substations, we can't be there all the time. But we know that the citizens and neighbors in this area can watch for us, they're familiar with Amarillo Crime Stoppers," Reeves says.

But for thieves looking to make a quick buck, there could be more at risk than just getting caught.

"These facilities that get hit, you know people doing can get killed. What they're doing is a very risky maneuver for them," Cpl. Sean Slover, Amarillo Crime Stoppers says.

It is easy for thieves to touch live power lines that could electrocute them.

But the price of these thefts could start coming out of Xcel customer's pockets.

"And it could also lead to driving up the costs of electricity if this continues like this. We're seeing tens of thousands of dollars in damage and replacement of this copper. So it's really everyone's problem," Reeves says.

If you have any information on copper thefts tips can be submitted to Amarillo Crime Stoppers via their website, text message, or phone.

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