Daring vandals steal 9 streetlight columns at Kuching Isthmus

Cut and stolen streetlight steel columns at Kuching Isthmus.

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KUCHING, June 16: Nine streetlight steel columns at the Kuching Isthmus were cut and stolen by daring vandals, believed due to the high commodity price for steel.

Sarawak Energy said the actions by these vandals have placed travelling motorists in danger as they are forced to travel in the dark at night.

A police report has been lodged for investigations and there will be increased patrols in the area to prevent more streetlight poles from being damaged and stolen.

Western Region regional manager Choo Min Chong has voiced his concern about the increased frequency and severity of streetlight vandalism in Kuching, and cautioned about the danger such actions cause to the public.

“This year, we have recorded more than 800 vandalism cases involving our streetlights in Kuching despite our efforts to reduce them.

“Now, the vandals even went as far as to cut and steal the entire street light steel columns. Even though we have repeatedly warned the public that stealing electrical facilities is dangerous and may cause loss of lives, it is unfortunate that our advice has fallen on deaf ears as vandals are still disregarding safety and risking their lives for small gains which can potentially lead to undesirable consequences,” he said in a statement today.

Choo reiterated that vandalising any of Sarawak Energy facilities where electricity is live 24 hours can cause flashovers or electrocution, burns and even death.

“In cases of unlit street lights caused by wire theft, motorists run the risk of road accidents when driving along the affected roads at night,” he added.

Mitigation plans by Sarawak Energy to curb this issue include increased patrols at commonly affected areas and remote sensors installation to detect unauthorised entry at its facilities.

For street lights, the technical team is looking into modifying the circuits and installing temporary twin twisted wires which will be suspended from the street light columns.

Sarawak Energy also seeks cooperation from members of the public to immediately report any individuals behaving suspiciously near any electrical facilities.

The utility company also warned that joint operations with the police will be carried out to check recycling centres for trades of stolen copper cables, wires and even street light poles among second-hand dealers.

The public can report suspicious activities to Sarawak Energy’s 24-hour Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email customercare@sarawakenergy.com. All information obtained will be kept strictly confidential. — DayakDaily