MYSTERY surrounds the continued failure of smart meters across Moreland.
Electricity providers confirmed they have now replaced 38 vandalised meters – all but five in Moreland – that forensic tests found were sprayed with household chemicals.
Police began investigating in February, but have yet to establish who is launching the attacks and why.
Power distributor Jemena has ruled out suspending the program until the matter is resolved, but managing director Paul Adams warned vandalism of the electrical equipment could endanger lives.
Fawkner detective Sen-Constable Anna McIlroy said police identified 20 possible motives and had several leads.
But “until we can more closely identify the group we can’t say why or what motive,” Sen-Constable McIlroy said.
Lobby groups opposed to the meters claim they could breach privacy and associated electromagnetic frequencies could harm human health.
This year, new claims emerged the meters were exploding after black soot was found behind failed meters in Moreland.
Energy Safe Victoria energy safety director Paul Fearon said the meters were “designed to fail safely” and any associated flash, noise or smoke was not an explosion.
But Broadmeadows Progress Association spokeswoman Sonja Rutherford said she would not be convinced vandalism was behind the failures until Jemena released the forensic evidence.
“I find it extraordinary that a waterproof device can be damaged by liquid as is apparently claimed,” Ms Rutherford said.