Copper and electric service thefts were the topic of conversation at a press conference at the Bangor Police Department today. “These instances happen throughout the hundred or so odd towns we serve, so it takes a coordinated effort often by law enforcement agencies throughout our service territory and they’ve really come together to support this effort,” said Gerry Chasse, President & COO of Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service. Officials are not taking these crimes lightly.”We want people to know we are watching for it and they absolutely will be prosecuted,” said Susan Faloon, Communications Supervisor for Bangor Hydro. “If you’re talking a Class B felony, somebody could be looking at ten years, up to ten years incarceration, and then fines up to $20,000,” said Penobscot County Assistant Defense Attorney Steve Burlock. But not only is tampering with Bangor Hydro equipment to divert electricity illegal, these thefts also endanger the public.”Because the system is meant to be grounded, it can create problems inside customers’ households where improperly balanced voltages in households can cause fires,” said Chasse. The burglaries also burden consumers. “It costs customers money. The price of operating or the cost of operating the electric system is relatively fixed and all customers chip in to pay for that so if one customer is not chipping in, other customer are paying more,” Chasse continued. Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service, as well as law enforcement agencies, hope the community will help them put a stop to these crimes. “We’re going to see an increase in those type of crimes when the spring comes. So be diligent, be close as a neighborhood. Call us when you see problems,” said Sgt. Paul Edwards with the Bangor Police Department.