Utility pole thefts has area power companies concerned

 PLYMOUTH, Ind. -- "It's not very forgiving for the person that comes in contact with it."

It doesn't take an expert to know electricity can kill you.

"120 or 240 volts is what you'd see in your house wall outlets, electrical dryer, and things like that, Dave Lewallen, with Marshall County Rural Electric Membership Co-Op, said. "So you can imagine 7200 volts."

A recent string of wire thefts from utility poles has him and others at local power companies concerned.

"They're going up anywhere from 10 to 12 feet above the ground, cutting it, and pulling it and the staples out," Lewallen said.

And that's dangerous, not only for the person pulling the wire, but for people living nearby.

Without these wires, the poles are essentially an open circuit.

Electricity traveling down the line can shoot into someone's home, and cause a fire.

"It's not a cheap fix," Lewallen said. "Something they're getting dollars or cents for is costing us hundreds of dollars per instance."

Marshall County REMC has spent thousands in repairs.

Meanwhile, the bandits keep attacking elswhere; failing to realize, they're getting away with more steel than copper.

"It honestly does not make a lot of sense," Lewallen said. "For what they're the stealing, the value... I can't imagine that it's paying off."

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