Cameras trigger alert, catch copper thief in action

A masked man broke into Four County EMC's restricted area on Good Friday in search of copper wire
A masked man broke into Four County EMC's restricted area on Good Friday in search of copper wire(Four County EMC)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 3:45 PM EDT
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BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - A masked man was captured on camera breaking into Four County EMC’s restricted area and attempting to steal copper wire on Friday April 15.

The motion detection cameras alerted EMC officials to an intruder on the premises in the middle of the night. The man was seen jumping the barbed wire fence into the pole yard and searching trucks.

Burgaw police were on scene quickly to search the premises.

The suspect fled on foot and was later found walking down Hwy 53.

Four County EMC Chief Executive Officer Don Gatton said this is not the first attempted theft and that not only is it a crime, there are safety concerns.

“Breaking into a substation can be extremely dangerous due to the high voltage equipment present. Stealing materials in operation can cause system outages and equipment failures. Touching such materials can be harmful and potentially cause death to those in the act.” He went on to say that “the safety of our members and employees is our top priority. We will not tolerate anyone breaking into or stealing from any Four County EMC location. We will ensure all safety measures are in place to deter such crimes from occurring.”

According to the news release, a reward is offered for information about break-ins that lead to arrests.

Four County EMC offers a $2,500 REWARD for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of any individual responsible for breaking and entering, and stealing from any of our properties.

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