Sheriff: Man killed trying to steal copper from power lines |

Sheriff: Man killed trying to steal copper from power lines

Associated Press

BONSALL, Calif. ” San Diego County sheriff’s deputies say a man was electrocuted while apparently trying to steal copper from a live power line.

San Diego sheriff’s homicide Sgt. James Bovet says the man’s body was found around 1 a.m. this morning near a downed line on Highway 76, in the rural northeastern part of San Diego County.

Deputies found a ladder propped against the pole and cutting tools scattered nearby.

The man’s body was found nearby after utility workers arrived to shut off the line.

The man has not been identified.

Reported thefts of copper from places like construction sites and cemeteries have spiked over the past year as the metal’s value has skyrocketed. Copper wiring is fetching about $3 a pound at recycling facilities.

Electric companies are not the only utilities to be targeted. According to the California Highway Patrol, copper thieves targeting freeway lighting are plunging Southern California roadways in the dark.

CHP Officer Jennifer Hink said freeway wire theft is occurring an average of once a week. As a results, those stranded in conked out vehicles at night are facing dangers on Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties.

The latest theft was Monday at the Riverside and Orange freeway interchange. Some 2,600 feet of wiring, worth about $800, was taken and lights in the area are out of service.

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