Apparently, there is no honour among thieves.
Last Thursday night, some winner took bolt cutters to a chain link fence at Newfoundland Power's Bishop's Falls sub-station.
After they got past the fence, they got past a locked door, and threw the breakers to 5,100 houses, businesses and other buildings and facilities.
Included would have been the Dr. Hugh Twomey Health Centre, at least a couple seniors homes, a correctional facility and, no doubt, several other locations with residents with health problems. Some of these places have emergency power, no doubt, and the power wasn't out that long.
The length of the blackout doesn't matter.
The fact that it was done intentionally is reprehensible.
There are dozens of scenarios that could have been played out on Thursday night.
Let's say Grandpa Jones' ailing heart picked the time of the blackout to finally give out. Ordinarily, a call to the hospital to send an ambulance might take ten minutes. That should be enough time to save his life.
However, if the Joneses only telephone is one of the cordless, electrically-powered devices most households have, they would have no way to call that ambulance. That situation might have ended badly.
There are hundreds of unimaginable sequences of events that could have happened, but luckily, there were none.
Except for the power surge that happened when the electricity was restored that fried an Advertiser correspondent's computer.
There were, no doubt, scores of people who were late for work Friday morning, their alarm clocks flashing "12:00" over and over again.
For most, the outage caused by the thief or thieves was no more than an inconvenience, forcing them to head to bed early, without finishing their favourite late night TV show. Another inconvenience when they got up in the morning and fixed the clocks in the bedroom, on the stove, the microwave and the radio.
But it certainly could have been worse.
Surely the culprits didn't think about that.
No, they wouldn't, since their selfish, uncaring act demonstrates a lack of ability to care about anyone or anything. Who knows what damage they could have done to that sub-station if they had hit the wrong button. Perhaps they might have even put themselves in some kind of danger.
The crime rate in Newfoundland and Labrador is currently up 13 per cent over last year, while the national average is down to 1973 levels.
Ask most of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police members in the Exploits Valley how busy they are and they will just chuckle - they have no words to describe their workload. They are doing all they can to catch the bad guys, but there are a lot of files on their desks.
While vigilantism is not something we should be doing, there are things we can do to help.
Help the police. Call them with any information you might have - or the gossip you hear on the street.
If you are not comfortable with that, call Crime Stoppers. You can leave your tips anonymously.
We want our province to be a leader in the country, but not of crime statistics.
The short power outage last week should be a wake up call.
Unlike other break and enters, there was more than a few victims. Over 5,000 had something taken away from you, albeit briefly.
If you didn't care about crime before because you weren't a victim, perhaps you do now.