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Geographic Information Systems

Baltimore Gas and Electric

The BGE Copper Theft Prevention Project is a volunteer project with Washington College’s GIS Lab and the Baltimore Gas and Electric company aiming to reduce incidences of copper theft from electrical substations.

Copper theft has unfortunately become a growing trend in Maryland; electrical substations in particular have been one of the most frequent targets of this crime. The Washington College GIS team has voluntarily taken on the task of assisting Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) in reducing this mass amount of company-owned copper theft by performing a “risk terrain” analysis to identify where and why these incidents are occurring and how we can prevent them.

Thus far in the analysis we have created a map of every BGE property and substation location and assigned a “risk factor” to each location based on the physical surrounding elements (how well they are hidden by trees, how big the property is, etc.). From there we added other factors to the equation to include:

  • If there are known drug and/or theft offenders living nearby;
  • If a given property has fallen victim to theft once before;
  • Or, if it is nearby a property that has fallen victim to theft before;
  • How close in proximity a given property is to a scrap metal dealer

Once we have thoroughly analyzed these factors, we will create a map and a report on what trends were identified and suggestions as to how these crimes may be prevented.