Bandar Seri Begawan - The theft of fuses from feeder pillars in Kampong Kianggeh, Kampong Sungai Akar, Kampong Subok, Kampong Bunut and several areas in Mukim Sengkurong in a space of five days left hundreds of residents without electricity for hours.
The Department of Electrical Services has sought the assistance of the Royal Brunei Police Force following the growing number of such cases.
The fuses in feeder pillars have become a popular target for thieves in recent years.
Although power was restored to the users immediately, the act of taking the fuses is a crime.
The department is seeking the cooperation of the public in reporting to the police through the hotline 993 or Electrical Services Hotline 144 if people notice any suspicious activities at the feeder pillars or substations.
In an effort to stop the thefts, the Royal Brunei Police Force with the Electrical Services Department will increase their patrols in the relevant areas.
Under the Penal Code, it is an offence to steal any items used for buildings and houses. If found guilty, the offender will face a maximum of seven years' imprisonment or a fine. Anyone found guilty of the act of vandalism which results in loss or damage to government property will face a maximum of five years' imprisonment and up to two strokes of the cane.
On Friday, thieves struck at the feeder pillar in Kianggeh and Bandar Seri Begawan, leaving residents in the surrounding areas without power.
When a Sunday Bulletin journalist visited one of the affected areas in BSB, the feeder pillar just in front of the Hj Ahmad Flat which is under renovation, the fuses were already gone and a officer from Electrical Services Department was at the site taking a closer look at the situation.
The missing fuses affected the whole Arman Merdeka building where 16 families are residing. According to a building maintenance worker, "the power was disrupted at around 6am this morning when residents called to complain about the blackout".
"I went out to check and noticed that the power outside the building was fine.
"Further inspection showed that fuses in the substation were gone. I contacted the Department of Electrical Services."
He added, "It's not the first time this (theft) has happened. There were three other eases".
Meanwhile, in Spg 38 in Kianggeh, residents found seven fuses missing from the substation after electricity was disrupted at around 2am. A police report was lodged.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin