November 18, 2011 - The Houston Police Department and CenterPoint Energy announced today (Nov. 18) a joint effort to educate consumers about the consequences of metal theft and what they can do to help prevent this costly crime.
Photos of today's announcement are attached to this news release.
Wire theft is a crime that not only can result in thousands of dollars in damages, but can also create a public safety issue. Wire thieves are not only putting themselves in great danger of electrocution, but are also possibly risking the welfare of everyone in the area by tampering with facilities that may serve hospitals, 911 phone systems, traffic lights, railroad crossing signals and other health and safety facilities.
To minimize chances of becoming a victim of metal theft, HPD recommends the following:
- Use metal conduit instead of the plastic tubing
- Secure your air conditioning units in cages and use special one-way screws to secure the parts of the system
- Mark or spray paint your air conditioning unit, copper wire, and other metal items so they can be later identified
- Increase lighting in the area to scare off thieves
- Install surveillance cameras
- Report all suspicious activity in your neighborhood
HPD Assistant Chief George Buenik said, "Most people come home and find it shocking to find their air conditioner not working and then discover they have become a victim of metal theft. We encourage the public that if they see someone messing with someone's property, they need to call police immediately," Chief Buenik added.
Anyone who is a victim of metal theft or has information on any metal theft cases is urged to contact the HPD Metal Theft Unit at 281-405-6580.
For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.