Thieves target electric poles

Published 11:14 pm Friday, February 11, 2011

Suffolk police are searching for a group of suspects who cut copper ground wire from electric poles Thursday night.

However, the suspects weren’t responsible for the power outage that affected more than 1,000 residents for more than two hours, a Dominion Virginia Power spokeswoman said.

City spokeswoman Debbie George said police received several calls around 10 p.m. reporting people climbing poles on Wilroy Road. One caller said the climber had cut a wire and then the power went out.


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Police and Dominion Virginia Power responded and determined that copper ground wire had been cut from 10 poles on Wilroy.

However, coincidentally, a technical problem that occurred about three miles away is what knocked out the power, said Susan King, a Dominion spokeswoman.

“They’re two separate incidents,” she said, adding that a failed connector on a wire caused the wire to burn down.

Even though they weren’t responsible for the outage, police still would like to talk with the thieves, George said.

“I understand from investigators that copper is bringing around $2.95 a pound these days,” she said, “which doesn’t seem like a whole lot, especially for the danger they put themselves in.”

George said citizens are always asked to report any suspicious activity to police.

“We are certainly asking that if anyone sees anyone messing around utility poles and there’s no obvious utility vehicle present, they should contact police,” she said.

Anyone who has information on the copper theft is asked to call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. Callers to Crime Line never have to give their names or appear in court, and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.