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Wire theft downs power in Decatur

DECATUR — The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a wire theft that left more than 1,100 people without power for a few hours last week.

According to a report from the sheriff’s office dated Jan. 16, an AEP employee reported a hole was cut in the chain link fence around the substation on County Road 41 in Decatur and 40 feet of ground wire was stolen.

“There are no houses around,” Sheriff Jeff Lawless said. “It sits off by itself in a wooded area. We’ve had thefts there in the past as well. It’s a trouble spot.”

According to the employee, the copper-steel mixed wire has no real scrap value, but will cost the company thousands of dollars to repair.

The cost of the repairs is about $8,000 according to the report.

There are no suspects at this time and Lawless said anyone who has information is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s office.

“Our hope is that if somebody saw a suspicious truck or something going up and down that road, or maybe somebody knows that ‘Johnny’ is doing it,” Lawless said. “We need a lead on it. We don’t want people out of power, especially in this kind of weather.”