AG's office takes aim at copper thefts

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas attorney general's office held an event in Little Rock Tuesday to highlight state efforts to preventing copper thefts. Region 8 is no stranger to this type of crime.

Monty Williams with Craighead Electric Cooperative Corporation said he's happy to hear that the attorney general's office is acknowledging the problem and rewarding those who have helped stop it.

In the last eight years Craighead Electric estimates they've been hit with nearly 100 copper thefts.

"It's happened in the rural farm area around Lake City and down around Earl," said Williams. "It's also in Lawrence County out in the farm areas where we mainly get hit."

Stealing copper is a very dangerous process. Williams said back in 2007 one man died from attempting to steal some. Not only is it unsafe for the thief, it's extremely dangerous for their workers.

"When they go out and remove copper wiring off of our structures it  will energize that piece of equipment, and that makes it very dangerous," said Williams.

When the thief manages to get away the burden falls on Craighead Electric, which eventually falls on to their customers.

"When they steal that copper we have to replace it," he said. "Labor to replace it and replacing the copper gets very expensive."

Williams said they are still offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can identify who has been responsible for their copper thefts.

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