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City Light offers reward in wire theft case

January 10, 1997

By FRANCA LEWIS

Staff Writer

A dangling power line on Mitchell Avenue in Hagerstown's West End on Friday morning led to the discovery of 650 feet of missing electrical line.

Hagerstown City Police said it appeared that someone had climbed the utility pole and taken the line, worth an estimated $600.

Although the theft caused no power problem for the neighborhood, City Light Manager Terry Weaver said it's a problem that has grown rampant throughout the city's electrical system.

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In November, 2,400 feet of wiring was taken, Weaver said.

The wiring is valued for its copper content, worth up to $1.20 per pound on the market, Weaver said.

The City Light Department spent Friday taking inventory of the system and found other areas where the theft of wiring has taken place, Weaver said.

"We don't know how they're getting it down," he said.

However, citizens are asked to be on the lookout for suspicious individuals on or around utility poles without utility trucks carrying familiar signs on them. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the police or call City Light at 790-2600.

Weaver said the city will be offering a $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of suspects in the theft of wiring. Details about the reward are expected to be released next week.

Weaver said suspects also have vandalized the City Light storage area on Baltimore Street in the past few weeks and taken valuable items from the site.

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