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Southern Illinois Power Cooperative Increases Vandals Reward from $50K to $80K

Vandals Must Be Brought to Justice

October 4, 2010
CONTACT: Loretta McElmurry at (618) 964-1448 ext. 203

Southern Illinois Power Cooperative is increasing the reward from $50,000 to $80,000 for tips leading to the arrest of vandals who destroyed power equipment during the crippling summer heat wave.

“We are absolutely committed to bringing the vandals to justice. We will continue to proceed with the investigation until they have been arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Scott Ramsey, President and General Manager at Southern Illinois Power Cooperative. “With help from some cooperative members of the Association for Illinois Electric Cooperatives, we are increasing the reward another $30,000. Destroying power equipment during a crippling heat wave is a public safety issue that cannot be tolerated, and this is why we are increasing the reward from $50,000 to $80,000 for tips leading to the arrest of the vandals. We need the public’s help to catch these people.”

Clean up continued in September at the Hamilton Substation (in Hamilton County, IL), where tresspassers broke through the station fence on July 5th and opened a valve to drain oil from the large power-transformer. Oil spilled into the containment birm preventing the spill from leaving the site; however, the clean-up within the birm and other associated costs have exceeded $100,000. Had SIPC dispatchers not intervened, the transformer would have failed costing SIPC over $1.5 million dollars.

The Franklin County, IL pole cutting event which occurred on July 11th was repaired immediately after the incident and power was restored to SIPC member Southeastern IL Electric Cooperative’s affected stations. Recent costs on the pole repairs for SIPC’s portion exceeded $20,000.

“We are committed to working with our employees, the public, and law enforcement to catch these criminals and protect the power grid for our members,” added Ramsey.

“Anyone with information can call our confidential tip line at 618-713-0048 or the nearest office of the F.B.I.”

SIPC provides transmission and generation services to a population of more than 250,000 people thru its member-owners Southern IL Electric Cooperative, Southeastern IL Electric Cooperative, Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association, Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Clinton County Electric Cooperative, Clay Electric Cooperative of Flora, IL and Monroe County Electric Cooperative. Wholesale contracts are provided to the Cities of Redbud, IL, and McLeansboro, IL and beginning in 2013 Norris Electric Cooperative of Newton, IL.

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