Copper thefts can lead to tragedies

An editorial from The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING, W.Va. — In addition to theft, the person or people who stole copper wiring from a power company facility in Marshall County are guilty of killing an innocent man.

Someone stole wiring from an American Electric Power installation near a coal mine in Marshall County. On Monday, two workmen from a company contracted by AEP went to the site to repair the damage.

Both men received severe electric shocks in an accident. One died. The other had to be taken to a hospital in Morgantown.

Theft of copper wiring from individuals and companies has become a major problem during the past few years. As we have pointed out, it can cause more than financial loss.

Any damage to electrical equipment can result in accidents including electric shocks and fire. More than a few copper thieves have been hurt or killed.

This time, two innocent working men paid the price for the thievery.

If and when those who stole the AEP wiring can be found, the authorities should charge them with more than simple theft. They have killed a man – and should be punished for that.

Meanwhile, what happened should serve as a sobering deterrent to other would-be copper thieves.

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