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Person Likely Electrocuted While Stealing Copper

Posted at: 03/06/2013 6:34 PM
Updated at: 03/06/2013 6:42 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- Rochester Police are investigating what they believe was an attempt to steal copper out of a vacant building. A move that likely left somebody seriously injured.

Rochester Police responded to an old Krispy Kreme location, on a report of property damage.

"When they arrived the power was hot to the building and it clearly had been tampered with," said Brian Winters, Captain of Rochester Police Department.

Met by Rochester Public Utilities who had already shut off power to the building, police say it was most likely an attempt to steal copper.

"They did cut several wires and did so in a manner that it was apparent to them the individual was not familiar with electrical," said Winters.  

There was evidence of a spark in the exterior box and electrocution of this magnitude could cause serious burns.

Gary Fitterer of People's Energy Cooperative is familiar with people stealing copper and sees the danger in tampering with electricity.  

"They are very inexperienced, they do not know what may be energized with electricity and what is not and it's very easy for them to touch the wrong things and do harm to themselves and others," said Fitterer.

Fitterer hopes this incident serves as a lesson to others.

"People just seem to be getting lucky as far as not being hurt," said Fitterer.

"It certainly could have resulted in a life threatening or a significant injury," said Winters.

The responding officer checked with local medical facilities to see if this may be the case.

"There was no report of someone that at least self-reported for those kind of injuries," said Winters.

Police are asking that if you know of anyone with recent injuries that could have been involved, to contact them.