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Copper thief disrupts power to Cromwell

Cromwell residents lost power for about two hours Sunday morning thanks to the work of a copper thief or thieves. Lake Country Power (LCP) spokesperson Tami Zaun said a person or persons must have been working the night before to steal copper wir...

Cromwell residents lost power for about two hours Sunday morning thanks to the work of a copper thief or thieves.

Lake Country Power (LCP) spokesperson Tami Zaun said a person or persons must have been working the night before to steal copper wiring from the Cromwell substation, a very dangerous endeavor that would have only yielded a couple hundred dollars’ worth of copper.

“It’s very high voltage, so it’s a very dangerous situation,” Zaun said. “Then the rest of the equipment is left hanging and sparking, which causes voltage fluctuations because the substation isn’t working properly.”

Residents called LCP to report the fluctuations and that’s when the power company discovered the damage and the theft. Workers had to shut down the substation and reroute power to Cromwell area customers from other substations.

The Carlton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft. CCSO is also investigating damage to an AT&T tower near Wright that was reported Monday morning.

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LCP employees are still working to repair the damage the substation, so Zaun didn’t have an exact dollar amount of damage done.

She said the costs would far exceed the value of the copper.

“There have been cases [of copper theft from power substations] in the state where there was up to $40,000 in damages,” she said.

Sheriff Kelly Lake said anyone with information about the crimes, or who may have seen something suspicious, should contact the Sheriff’s office directly at 218-384-3236 or through the tipline, which is coordinated by Crime Stoppers.

People with knowledge about a crime or a fugitive can contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS [8477], going online at www.CrimeStoppersMn.org , or by texting a cell phone message beginning with TIP674, then the message and SEND to CRIMES [274637]. Users of smart phones can download an app called Submit a Tip and also send information. Crime Stoppers accepts tips in any language by phone; in English, Spanish, French or Somali on the Internet; and keeps the identity of the tipster anonymous. If the tip leads to an arrest or charging the tipster may qualify to receive a reward of up to $1,000 and still remain anonymous.

Related Topics: CRIMECROMWELL
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