NOVEC: If You See Something, Say Something

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Provided by NOVEC

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) asks the public to be on the lookout for suspicious activity around NOVEC’s electrical equipment, located throughout Northern Virginia, and report it to NOVEC and the police immediately.

“We’re asking the public to report anything suspicious near our substations, power poles, ground-level transformer boxes, meters, or any other utility facility,” says Lori Spence from NOVEC’s risk management department. “It’s in everyone’s best interest to help stop criminals from vandalizing or stealing equipment and disrupting power service. If you see something, say something by calling us on a special security phone number: 703-392-1754. If it’s an emergency, call the police at 911.”

Spence notes that tampering with anything from electric meters on houses to substations is illegal and dangerous. “Tampering with electrical equipment can put the perpetrator at risk,” Spence says. “Electricity doesn’t care if you’re young, old, rich or poor: It will shock or electrocute you if you come in contact with it. There are no repeat offenders after electrocution.”

Spence says NOVEC will “prosecute to the full extent of the law” anyone who vandalizes substations or tampers with the Co-op’s equipment.

Suspicious Indicators

  • Anyone doing surveillance, such as recording or monitoring activities, drawing diagrams, or studying maps or blueprints.
  • People not in NOVEC or NOVEC contractor uniforms looking like they don’t belong in the neighborhood or near NOVEC equipment.

How to Help

  • If you see anyone lurking near electrical facilities or someone trying to sell copper or other electrical equipment through unusual channels, call NOVEC at 703-392-1754. If it’s an emergency, contact the police immediately.
  • To help law enforcement, jot down the person’s age; gender; race; facial features; build and approximate height and weight; hair color and length; body tattoos and/or piercings; and clothing. Also, write down the person’s vehicle make, model, color, license plate number and state, any bumper stickers, and body condition.
  • Note suspicious activity, including what, where, and when it happened and how many people were involved.

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