Thieves endanger Brunei power utility

A gang of thieves has stolen cables, pillars and doors from scores of power substations in Brunei, disrupting service and leaving power lines dangerously exposed, an official said.

More than 60 substations in one district alone have been stripped bare by thieves since July this year, costing the state-owned Department of Electrical Services losses of more than $35,300, according to the head of transmission and distribution.

The looted material - mostly copper earthing cables, pillars holding electrical wires and aluminum doors of substations - is apparently sold as scrap metal.

Some substations have been raided only days after previously stolen items were replaced and damaged ones rectified.

"It has become a cat and mouse game," Nokman said.

Some areas have had power outages due to the thefts. Missing doors at substations leave live wires exposed and pose a danger to children who might touch them.

The thieves previously worked at night but have become increasingly brazen, striking during the day while disguised as utility workers, the AP reports.

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