LESAGE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- AEP is offering a reward for anyone who can provide information to catch and convict local copper thieves.
Transformers started blowing about 3:30 a.m. Friday along the left fork of Nine Mile Road in Cabell County. The outage impacted about 75 homes.
"I called 911, and they said there was people out here working to try and find out what's happening," Charlotte Black said. "It's just so upsetting that someone would be so thoughtless."
Phil Moye, an AEP spokesman, tells WSAZ.com it looks like someone cut several thousand feet of wire and also cut a ground wire to a transformer. With the ground wire cut, many homes experienced a power surge that fried their appliances and electronics.
"I've lost several TVs, a computer, my dishwasher and heat pump," Janet Knapp said. She said the heat pump alone is worth more than $3,000.
"You see copper thefts on TV and just never understand what it can mean to a person," Knapp says. "I get frustrated at the people out there that just want to steal things, and it causes a hardship on so many people."
Anyone with information is urged to contact the AEP Tip Line at (866) 747-5845.