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PaCIC Update on Material and Equipment Theft

PaCIC Update on Material and Equipment Theft

The Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center (PaCIC) is aware of multiple thefts from utility substations, communication towers, and worksites in Eastern Pennsylvania. Thieves targeted isolated sites during overnight hours. Sites were breached through loose fencing, unsecured gates, and/or over low barriers.

Due to increased number of unemployed persons resulting from the coronavirus, thefts have intensified. Thieves targeted items such as tools, building materials, metal, and electronics. These items are easily removable from a substation or worksite and can be traded or sold.

The PaCIC recommends:

  • Monitor the exterior of the site, especially loose barriers and fencing
  • Be aware of platforms and moveable objects around the exterior of the site which could be used to scale a barrier
  • Lock equipment in vehicles and out of view from the windows
  • Take personal equipment and devices home
  • Store equipment within a secure building
  • Document all suspicious activity and vandalism
  • Test security systems prior to departing the site and especially before a period of inactivity at the site such as prior to holiday or weekend.

The PaCIC is providing this bulletin for informational and situational awareness. In the event of sabotage or vandalism, owners and operators should contact local law enforcement immediately. The PaCIC encourages all partners in the energy sector and the communications sector to increase security measures at communications towers, utility substations and worksites. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the Critical Infrastructure and Key Resource Unit at PaCIC using Additionally, Pennsylvania allows suspicious activity to be reported from a smartphone using the See Something Say Something app. This application is available for iOS and Android devices and allows the user to submit a description and also images of the suspicious activity. 

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