Thieves use backhoe to steal copper from substation

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Police say they went to great lengths to steal copper, even going so far as to use a backhoe in the crime.

Some thieves did manage to steal some wiring this morning, during the crime at an East Kentucky Power substation in Jessamine County.

Now investigators are looking for the people responsible.

The barbed wire around the substation didn't stop the thieves from getting inside and stealing some copper wire.

They found a backhoe to break through the fencing.

A security guard at a nearby farm called 911 when he heard a beeping sound that was coming from a backhoe.

When sheriff's deputies got there, they found the thieves had used keys from inside a utility truck to turn on the backhoe and use it to break in.

"Tried to manipulate a backhoe, which was actually securing some other copper in there, to gain access to it," says Jessamine County Sheriff's Deputy Larry Oliver.

Once inside the substation, the thieves were able to find what they were looking for.

"Noticed a section of copper wiring was missing, as well as some damage to a vehicle," says Oliver.

Sheriff's deputies say copper theft is becoming a crime they see more and more often,.

"It's very common," says Oliver, "The reason usually is, copper is a pretty expensive metal. It pays well to scrap it at some of the scrap yards."

The thieves drove away in a car, without the lights on, so the security guard was not able to get a good description of the vehicle.

But, police say they are looking for a dark, mid-sized car, possibly a Ford Taurus.

Police say the thieves got away with different grades of copper, probably worth around $1,000.

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