"Natural gas is a safe energy source but when there are untrained people doing illegal activities, there is potential for a fire or other things to occur."
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Police believe the majority of the thefts are tied to illegal marijuana grow operations or drug labs.
FortisBC provides natural gas to approximately 956,000 customers across British Columbia, with 68 per cent of reported thefts concentrated in the Lower White Nike Air Max Thea Womens Mainland.
Both municipalities had three incidents reported in 2012. However, the natural gas provider believes the actual number of thefts is much higher.
RCMP found a natural gas bypass that fueled an underground grow op.
Although FortisBC would not specify how the thefts take place, stealing natural gas can be as simple as breaking into a locked meter and flipping a switch, or as complicated as digging the ground and tapping into lines before they reach a meter. Hydro in addition to law enforcement. Hydro the portion of an anonymous tip that will help their inspectors pinpoint the location of where there may be energy theft. CrimeStoppers. "What is usually reported to CrimeStoppers is the probable indicators of an illegal marijuana grow operation or a drug lab. These illegal operations often involve theft of energy bypasses that are a major danger to the public and utility employees."
"As it is with any utility, taking it illegal poses a risk to yourself and other," said Pickell.
Stealing natural gas can be extremely dangerous as well.
"We have many tools in our box to investigate energy theft and this is just one of them," Pickell added.
FortisBC owns the infrastructure leading up to the home or property so the company reminds homeowners that its investigators have the right to visit private property to determine if there is an illegal bypass.
FortisBC relies on the public to be their eyes and ears on the ground and contact them as soon as they smell natural gas, which has a sulfuric, rotten egg odour.
natural gas theft
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Maple Ridge and Surrey are tied for the most cases of natural gas theft in the province, but FortisBC hopes a new collaboration with CrimeStoppers will help curb the trend.
"That's why we are so excited about this collaboration with CrimeStoppers because it's really going to add to the number at tips we have available to us and speed up investigations."
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