Sheriff’s office investigates another copper wire theft

January 18, 2013 10:54 a.m. - Updated: 11:08 a.m.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating yet another case of copper wire theft.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a transformer fire at an Avista substation near Barker Road and Euclid Avenue about 3:45 a.m. today after Spokane Valley fire crews saw the fence surrounding the station had been cut open.

Deputies were able to see footprints leading into the substation from the large opening in the fence, said sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin.

An Avista employee also responded to the scene and told deputies a ground wire had been cut and removed from the transformer, charging the transformer with more than 7,500 volts of electricity, causing it to ignite.

The suspects were likely burned, the employee told authorities. Several other ground lines were removed inside the station.

The incident caused 2,165 customers in the area to lose power for a short period of time, Chamberlin said.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

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