Three arrested over 'extremely dangerous' powerline tampering

Three men are facing charges over powerline tampering and electrical thefts in Christchurch.

Police said two men were arrested on 16 February after they were caught tampering with powerlines.

Then, on 22 February, a man was arrested in Bromley after allegedly stealing a vehicle loaded with electrical supplies.

Powerline tampering and copper and electrical supply thefts have been recurring issues across Christchurch in the past four weeks.

Senior Sergeant Roy Appley said the most recent incident occurred on Thursday night, on Raymond Road.

Photo: RNZ/file
Photo: RNZ/file
However, there had been incidents across the suburbs of Marshlands, Dallington and Bromley, typically between 3am and 5.45am.

"The three arrested were not the only people involved in this activity and we would caution scrap metal dealers that this is occurring and to be wary of frequent customers," Appley said.

"The theft of copper from live wires is extremely dangerous. If someone were to touch these downed lines, they could be badly injured or killed."

Police had identified a vehicle of interest - a white station wagon - in relation to the thefts and asked Dallington residents with street-facing CCTV cameras to get in touch.

Anyone who saw someone acting suspiciously around power poles or lines should call 111 immediately, police said.

"If you see power equipment that's been damaged, please call Orion on 0800 363 9898, day or night."

The three arrested men, aged 40 to 48, were due to reappear in Christchurch District Court on 8 and 21 March.