Copper Thieves Blamed for Power Outage in Ohio

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Power has been restored Tuesday to an estimated 1,500 Buckeye Rural Electric Customers after copper thieves broke into a substation. Buckeye REC Officials tell that two suspects stole copper from the company's substation in Scottown.

Jennifer James and her family spent several hours sweating through the outage.

"It's unbearable," James said. "You get so hot. You don't have any relief. When you have two dogs, two cats and a kid, it gets pretty rough. It's frustrating."

James says this is a recurring problem that her family and many others have had to deal with recently.

"The third time in less than a month," James said. "When it's people vandalizing the substation and stealing the copper, it gets aggravating because they're not thinking about other people. They're not thinking about the elderly people or the other people that they're putting through this."

Officials with Buckeye Rural Electric say the thieves targeted the Scottown substation and stole copper, despite the many warnings of possible electrocution.

The company has released surveillance pictures of the suspects caught in the act, in the hopes someone can identify them. The male suspect is wearing camouflage pants and a baseball cap. The woman standing watch appears to have a jacket or hoodie over her head in an attempt to cover her face.

Victims of this crime, like the James family, are now pleading for the thieves to stop.

"I want them to turn themselves in," James said. "It's ridiculous why you do this just to hurt other people, just so you can get your fix or whatever. I mean, everyone is having a hard time. You're not the only ones."

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