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Man electrocuted trying to steal copper wire

Bryan Alaspa's picture

A couple trying to steal copper wire from a vacant building in Southern California initially thought that the power had been shut off. However, once the couple broke through the walls and tried to pry the valuable metal wire from within, they discovered that they were very wrong. The result was that the man was electrocuted and the woman was severely burned while their children sat in a nearby vehicle.

Screaming in the night

The police were called to the scene when neighbors notified them that they could hear a woman screaming, following a small sound that seemed like an explosion. At least one neighbor ran to the scene and saw a woman with severe burns over much of her body running around and screaming and crying. She was also asking for help for her husband, who lay near by.

When the police arrived they found a vehicle parked near the vacant properties. Inside were two children, one aged 3 and the other aged 6. The police believe that they are the couple’s children.

So far the police have not released a reason behind the attempted theft nor have they released the names of the victims pending a notification of next of kin.

While the exact motives are not known, copper is a valuable metal among scrap metal dealers. There have been incidents of thieves sneaking into condo development and other new homes to steal the copper wiring. Copper wire theft in vacant and abandoned buildings has also become very common with some property owners and contractors placing security around buildings 24-hours a day.

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