A utility pole fire that caused about $5,000 in damage to Duke Energy equipment is being blamed on a copper thief.
Duke Energy reported this morning (Friday) that someone had stolen $800 worth of copper ground wires from utilities poles along Massengill Pond Road near the Johnston-Harnett County line. As a result of the theft, a pole caught fire causing damage to the pole and equipment. The cost to replace the damaged pole and power equipment was placed at $5,000.
This is the latest in a rash of copper wire thefts from utility poles in Johnston and Harnett Counties. In August, $30,000 worth of copper was taken from power poles on County Line Road outside of Benson.
Thieves are pulling and stealing the copper ground wires from high voltage lines and if they grab the wrong wire they could easily be injured or killed.
Anyone who sees any person around any utility poles – especially in rural areas – that is not with their local power company is asked to contact their nearest law enforcement agency. Anyone with any information about the thefts in Johnston and Harnett Counties is also asked to call authorities.