A FOOLHARDY thief could have been killed while stealing copper cabling from an 11,000 volt electricity pole.
The criminal diced with death when he stole two metres of earthing wire from the site of an electricty substation in Powdermill Lane, Battle.
The pole is owned by UK Power Networks and staff discovered the theft on August 8.
But the theft was not reported to Sussex Police until August 15.
A spokesperson for UK Power Networks said: “At 9.30am on August 8 our staff found some earthing wire had been stolen from an electricity pole in the Powdermill Lane area of Battle.
“Although the theft did not interrupt power supplies, in cases like this we have to arrange repairs to restore a safe and reliable electricity network in the area.”
She added: “Criminals who interfere with our electricity risk serious burns or even death. UK Power Networks will support the police in their investigations which can lead to large fines and prison sentences. We appeal to the public to inform police about any suspicious activity around the equipment which brings power to their home or business. Reporting a concern could prevent a power cut, or even save a life. Metal theft is a serious issue for the energy, rail and communications industries in the UK and on a global basis, driven by the price and demand for metal across the world. Substations and other electrical equipment are occasionally targets for these criminals and we take these matters seriously. Safety is our utmost concern and we warn that anyone tampering with our network is risking their lives and the lives of others.”