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PNM/ABQ to launch $500 reward program for copper theft tips

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This Freddy's restaurant has put up signs indicating that their electrical boxes contain aluminum instead of copper wiring.  (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

This Freddy’s restaurant has put up signs indicating that their electrical boxes contain aluminum instead of copper wiring. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Public Service Company of New Mexico said it will launch a reward program with the city of Albuquerque and Crime Stoppers for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of copper thieves.

The utility said it will announce details of the plan during a news conference Monday at 11 a.m.

PNM, in a news release Friday, said it will donate $20,000 to Crime Stoppers to fund a reward of up to $500 to any resident whose tip through Crime Stoppers leads to the arrest of those who steal copper wiring from electric poles, street lights, businesses, churches and electric utility equipment.

The press conference will take place at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 5301 Ponderosa NE in Albuquerque, which is one of many organizations affected by copper theft in Albuquerque this year, PNM said.

“Copper theft puts lives at risk on an almost daily basis and costs thousands of dollars each year. That is why PNM is asking anyone who knows about a copper theft to call Crime Stoppers and report that information safely and confidentially,” said Pat Vincent, PNM CEO and president, in a statement.

Mayor Richard Berry said “copper theft has grown into a major crime in this and nearly every other community in the country. As mayor, I ask for your help. Citizens are the front line in stopping crime.”

Tips can be made confidentially by calling Crime Stoppers at 505-843-STOP (7867), by texting “APD” plus your tip to 274637 or online at crimestoppersnm.com.

APD officer George R. Trujillo shows a transformer box stripped of all its wiring by metal thieves last February. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

APD officer George R. Trujillo shows a transformer box stripped of all its wiring by metal thieves last February. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

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