Authorities seek info on copper theft that knocked out power to more than 1,600

CLAY COUNTY — Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people responsible for the attempted theft of copper along a transmission line that caused a large power outage late Monday night into early Tuesday morning.

According to reports, thieves using a truck attempted to pull down the copper ground wire on a pole along a transmission line in Clay County near the Wayne County line.

The wire ultimately bounced back into the transmission lines and instantly knocked out power for more than 1,600 customers.

Crews were able to reroute power and restore electricity to all affected members affected within an hour and a half, until the necessary repairs could be made.

In addition to being extremely dangerous, tampering with transmission lines is considered domestic terrorism and subject to FBI investigation.

Attempts to steal transmission line grounding wires are reportedly being made late at night in isolated areas. Wayne-White asks residents to be aware of their surroundings and contact the Sheriff’s department or the cooperative at (618) 842-2196 if you know anything about this attempted theft, or if you observe anything suspicious.