Copper Bandits Knock Out Power to 2,000 in Arkansas

HOT SPRINGS, AR - Thieves stealing copper from an electric utility station knocked out power to about 2,000 Entergy Arkansas customers, including a mall, a Wal-Mart and a hospital.

The outage was short-lived because it affected so many people.  The trouble was reported quickly and with such large customers, utility workers labored quickly to restore service yesterday morning.

Entergy Arkansas spokesman Mark Hunt said copper thefts are increasing because of rising prices for the metal.  Yesterday, the thieves risked electrocution by ripping out ground wires.

Hunt said a surveillance camera captured some evidence.

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