Huckleberries Online

Copper Wire Thief Lucky Not Killed

The thief or thieves who stole 25 feet of copper wire from a fenced, locked substation on Huetter Road Monday morning were lucky they weren't allocated, according to a Coeur d'Alene police report. The thief may have been spooked when a ground wire burnt through as a result of the short-circuiting caused by the missing wire, according to Avista crews. Avista crew members speculate the theft occurred between 1 and 2 a.m. because the system became unstable at that time. The theft knocked out power to about 5600 Avista customer as well as to traffic lights on Highway 95, Northwest/Ramsey, and Atlas Road. Investigating officer found copper wire cut away in at least eight areas, some cleanly and some ragged, indicating the thief didn't have proper equipment. Avista has yet to make a damage estimate but repair workers speculated replacement costs in the thousands of dollars. The substation was enclosed by high, chain-link fence, topped by barbed-wire strands. Complete KCSD report here.

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D.F. Oliveria
Dave Oliveria writes the Huckleberries Online Blog for North Idaho readers and the Huckleberries print column.

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