Was sent once to a switching station where all the copper earthing had been stollen form head hight down to the ground (all the towers were live at the time) We replaced it with 1 1/2" alliminum stapping. Only to get sent back a week later. They stole that too.
Called out to a sub station that had triped out to discover the undergound 11kv cable partly exposed. Someone had tried to dig it up then cut it live with an axe. We found the wooden axe handle but no head. Police phoned all the local hospitals but no one had been admitted with burns. It could only happen in Glasgow !!!!!!
It might get tossed but I think the cops could find some "terrorism" type charges for destroying the power grid. The PoCo could make sure somebody would get killed when they remove some easy looking piece but that would probably just get them sued, even if they did put big "high voltage present when removed" signs all over.
All they would need would be one very high resistance "fault" to the grounding grid. In normal operation it would just waste a few watts of power but once you open it up and present that primary voltage it would get exciting fast... ... but that would be wrong
Had a situation in the Denver area recently. The guy hit two transformers in a new development area which were not hot. He made it to number three and made the wrong assumption with regard to it being hot. He is no longer with us upright folks.
So many crimes could be severely curtailed simply by imposing jail time or fines or both on the persons who enable these crimes. Such as the buyer of scrap copper, the employer of "illegals" or the giver of bribes as well as the receiver of bribes.
A few years ago we had a guy who stole a few boxes of return bends and took them to the scrap dealer. The boxes still had our shipping address on them so the dealer called us up and told us about it. We bought the parts back and he testified in court against the guy who stole them. If only everyone was like that.