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Thefts of wire leading to new laws

Updated: Thursday, June 26 2014, 06:27 PM EDT

WTOV9.com
TORONTO, Ohio – Ground wire thieves are on the run Toronto, and the most recent caper has forced police and officials from American Electric Power to alert residents.
“It's a nighttime activity,” Toronto Police Chief Randy Henry explained. “In the dark, they'll come up and cut the wires.”
After thieves take the safety copper wire from power poles, they sell it to a scrap yard. A few hundred pounds is worth about $200.
"It could be a dangerous situation if it did go to the ground and someone tried to cut one of the ground wires that was actually grounded," Henry said.
The most recent theft happened earlier this week in the Gem City. AEP officials replaced the cut lines Wednesday night.
"It's happened in the past,” Henry said, “and it just seems to recycle every once in a while, and it just cost the power company money and safety issues."
AEP officials say they can't do anything to prevent the crimes from happening. That's why they are alerting residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity around their homes.
Beginning July 1, police say it will not be so easy for thieves to sell copper to scrap yard owners because of new scrap metal laws that will take effect.
New laws will make scrap yard owners more accountable of whom they buy metal from. Owners will be required to get a photo of the metal they are buying and video of activity that is happening on the yard.
In the meantime, the thief or thieves who stole copper wire earlier this week is still on the run.
Police and AEP officials are warning residents to watch out for anything that seems suspicious.

Thefts of wire leading to new laws


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