Stern Warning To Copper Thieves And Plea For Help From Public

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June 19, 2013

Westar Energy reports a huge spike in the number of copper thefts at its substations and power poles. The company is hoping a 3 minute video on its website will help stop the crimes and save lives.

"We've found tools that were burned" said a Westar employee in the video. "It's a sign that they have gotten themselves into trouble."

Two weeks ago, a suspected copper thief paid the ultimate price while climbing this power pole.

"Climbing a pole with a pair of bolt cutters, they cut the wrong wire and it ended up killing them," said Wichita Police Lt. Doug Nolte.

By making the video, Westar hopes to educated people on being more aware. The company is asking for neighbors to call in suspicious activity near power substations.

"It's very dangerous, high voltage," said Westar Spokesman Nick Bundy. " Our employees receive hundreds of hours of training, and they are the only ones who should be around that equipment."

The video shows all the new security measures the electric company is taking which includes more lighting, security officers and now its using what's called copper weld. It's a material that has no value as scrap, and without a special tool, it can't be cut.

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