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Power Companies Take Steps To Stop Copper Theft

At least five people trying to steal copper have died in Kentucky since 2006.

The latest death was Wednesday in Rockcastle County.

Companies are taking steps to try and stop the thefts.

Officials with Jackson Energy Cooperative say the demand for copper is very high with a price of four dollars a pound.

Now, they're making a switch they hope will discourage thieves from stealing copper.

It looks like pure copper, but Jackson Energy Spokesperson Karen Combs says looks can be deceiving.

“It is actually steel with a copper coating on it so there isn't as much copper in the wire any longer and when the person would go to sell they wouldn't get as much for that wire,” Karen Combs said.

Jackson Energy officials say they hope using only a copper coating will discourage people from stealing it if they know they won't get as much money for the copper.

Combs also says she hopes the switch will also prevent any more fatalities.

“Since 2006 there has been at least 5 fatalities in Kentucky from people that have attempted to steal copper and unfortunately the fifth fatality was on our lines this week,” Combs said.

Wednesday's death in Rockcastle County is not only something Jackson Energy officials want to avoid, state police don't want to see it again either.

“High very high voltage currents can even jump up to 10 feet away and get you if you are up near them they can jump and get you whether you touch them or not,” Tommy Cromer said.

Trooper Tommy Cromer says it is just better to play it safe and keep your distance from any and all electrical wires.

“It is just always a good idea to stay away from power poles or power lines whether they are up or down,” Cromer said.

If you see anyone suspicious around power lines, police say you should report them immediately.

Karen Combs says there is a $2,500 reward for the arrest and conviction of someone stealing copper from their lines.


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