$10 In Stolen Copper Cause Of Massive Greenville Power Outage - WSPA.com

$10 In Stolen Copper Cause Of Massive Greenville Power Outage

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More than 15,000 customers were in the dark Tuesday morning in the Greenville area. More than 15,000 customers were in the dark Tuesday morning in the Greenville area.
GREENVILLE, S.C. -

More than 15,000 customers were in the dark Tuesday morning in the Greenville area.

Duke Energy reported more the outages at 11:30 a.m.  The number of customers impacted has now returned to double digits, according to the utility provider's website.

Several traffic lights in the city and county were not working.  The problem extended out of the city as far as White Horse Road.

Officers were positioned at some intersections to help direct traffic.

Duke officials say the outage happened when a ground wire at the Tie Station in downtown Greenville was damaged.

As the investigation continues, the power company says the damage appears to be caused by an attempted theft of copper wire.

"We are trying to get away from copper wiring all together trying to reduce the value of what the thieves are after, and go to a copper clad wire," Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier said. That's a type of wire duke energy says is only copper plated and has no resale value.

Duke says they are working with the Greenville County Sheriff's Department to solve the case.  Deputies tell 7 On Your Side that an employee showed up to the substation Tuesday to find a man inside a fenced area.  The man ran as soon as the employee arrived.

The suspect is described as a white male, around 20-years-old, standing 5'10", weighing around 160 pounds with dirty blonde hair.  He was wearing a blue t-shirt and brown work boots, according to investigators.

The employee told deputies the suspect got away with 12 feet of copper coated wire.  That length of wire has an estimated value of $10.

If you have any information that may help authorities in the investigation, call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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