Scott County sheriff seeking information on copper wire thefts

5/9/2013

By ANGIE HAFLICH

By ANGIE HAFLICH

ahaflich@gctelegram.com

On April 11, the Scott County Sheriff's Office received a report that several feet of copper had been stolen.

According to a press release from Wheatland Electric Inc., the company found approximately 26 poles along parts of its distribution lines in Scott County that had been stripped of its copper grounding wire.

"They took the copper ground wire that runs down the pole. They chopped it off and took off with several feet of it," Scott County Sheriff Glenn Anderson said.

According to Anderson, it is believed that the thefts occurred sometime between Jan. 1 and April 11. He said in many cases involving copper theft, perpetrators attach wires to vehicle bumpers and then drive until the wires break or come free.

"We've had some cases where they cut the wire at the bottom and then pull the staples out three or four feet and then tie it onto their bumper hitch and then take off and drive until all the staples all come out or until the wire breaks," Anderson said.

Scott County Deputy Keith Thomas investigated the thefts.

"He thought they went up as high as they thought they could reach (on the poles)," Anderson said.

According to the release, Wheatland estimates that the approximate value of the copper is only around $200, but the actual cost to repair the damage will be much greater. Factoring in replacement costs along with the labor to attach new ground wires to each pole, the cost could exceed $2,000.

"Copper theft drives up operation costs for the entire cooperative, and ultimately it's the membership who bear the cost of the vandalism." said Phillip Shelley, director of operations for Wheatland Electric.

Wheatland encourages all its members to be on the lookout for suspicious activity around power lines and utility poles and to report any such activity to the Scott County Sheriff's Office.

Anderson said there are currently no leads in the case.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Scott County Sheriff's Office at (620) 872-5805.

comments powered by Disqus
I commented on a story, but my comments aren't showing up. Why?
We provide a community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day.
Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. We expect civil dialogue.
Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome.
Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum.

If you don't see your comment, perhaps you ...
... called someone an idiot, a racist, a moron, etc. Name-calling or profanity (to include veiled profanity) will not be tolerated.
... rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.
... included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.
... accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.
... made a comment in really poor taste.

MULTIMEDIA