A camera caught three men stripping copper wire from a City Utilities substation. Then another man across town was accused of stealing copper from Melton Electric.
City Titles says it's using copper clad steel wire as a way to cut off supply. But either way, the thieves are endangering themselves and others.
Between 1,300 and 225,000 volts pass through the equipment at City Utilities substations.
"We had two situations where security cameras picked up that individuals were inside the substation," says Joel Alexander, spokesman for City Utilities. "They were in there to either take the copper grounding straps around the fence or the grounding straps on the physical equipment itself -- both of which are extremely dangerous to be around."
Alexander says what the thieves aren't taking into account is that their quick cash is putting them in grave danger.
"If those are gone, it weakens the system. It weakens that safety -- that security."
CU and other companies have stepped up security. It's hard to find a place on substation property where you're not on camera.
"Police are doing an investigation on that right now."
But, many thieves may not like it when they find out the endangering themselves for no reason.
"Instead of replacing the pure copper grounding straps, we're now looking at copper clad grounding straps, meaning that there's steel in there, but there's just a copper covering so they are not getting a full piece of copper. The value to them is little to nothing, but they are still going to create a safety hazard with this fence should it become energized."
City Utilities has more than 40 substations pumping electricity to more than one hundred and ten thousand customers and has had to up its security because these thieves are persistent and dangerous.
Just last year, a man was arrested when he was accused of hitting a CU substation. That was after he took out power to 20,000 customers in the White River Electric coverage area, ended up in the burn unit, and then spent time in jail.