June 24, 2018
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Copper thieves hit CMP substation in Woolwich

By Darcie Moore, Times Record

WOOLWICH, Maine  — The Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department continues to investigate the theft of several hundred dollars worth of copper from a Central Maine Power Co. substation.

Chief Deputy Brett Strout said CMP reported the theft from a Nequasset Road substation at 10:56 a.m. Wednesday. Deputy Matt Sharpe, who is investigating the crime, met a CMP employee at the substation. The utility’s employee showed Sharpe an area of fencing surrounding the building that had been cut so someone could squeeze through the fence. Once inside the fence, one or more intruders then cut a significant number of ground wires outside the substation.

Strout said power company representatives believe the person who pulled off the copper caper was either experienced with electricity or extremely lucky, because if the person had cut any one of a number of other wires, he or she would have been fatally electrocuted and “we would have known who did it.”

An estimated 100 feet of copper groundwire, valued at about $2,000, is missing. CMP estimates the cost of labor to repair and replace the damage at $5,000.

Strout said Sharpe continues to seek clues related to the incident. As of Thursday, no suspects had been identified.

Strout encouraged people who see a vehicle that is not a power company vehicle — properly equipped with correct signage — parked near a power substation to write down the license plate number and call a local law enforcement agency.

Emphasizing the high level of danger associated with this type of crime, Strout said that as long as Maine’s economy flounders and the price of metal stays high, this type of criminal behavior will likely continue.

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