Con Edison has launched a program aimed at deterring copper-wire thefts and protecting its equipment.
The utility is spraying identifying markings on copper and equipment that’s invisible to the naked eye but visible with a UV light. That allows police to identify who stole a piece of metal and from where.
Copper is used in Con Edison’s electrical delivery system. Thieves often sell the copper to scrapyards for cash. The company said they will work with the police to review records and products at metal and scrapyards.
Con Ed says there were 155 copper cable thefts in 2013. The metal was removed from manholes, trucks and company facilities. It says copper theft is a leading cause of power outages.