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800 feet of power lines cut, stolen

Deputies note that thieves must have known wires were inactive

Posted: November 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

 

In what appears to be the costliest and most brazen case of metal theft in the Santa Clarita Valley to date, thieves snipped power lines to steal 800 feet of copper valued at $150,000, local sheriff’s deputies report.

Sometime last month, thieves cut the padlock on a gate barring access to property owned by the Department of Water & Power at Oak Avenue, according to a report by deputies of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Once on the property, the thieves then snipped the power lines between two towers and stole 800 feet of copper wiring, they said.

“Whoever removed the copper wire must have known the power lines were inactive,” according to a DWP security officer interviewed by deputies.

According to the informant, the power lines that were cut have been inactive as a result of damage from a large fire 10 years ago.

The power lines are attached to multiple towers from Drinkwater Flats to Sun Valley, according to the DWP.

The theft occurred sometime between Oct. 1 and 20, deputies said.

The copper used for power lines and was intact between “Tower Body 13A7 and Tower Body 13A6,” according to DWP information supplied to sheriff’s deputies.

The two towers are about a half mile apart.

DWP spokeswoman Gale Harris told The Signal on Sunday:

“Our director said we can follow up first thing tomorrow (Monday) but cannot get the answers tonight.”

Investigators noted in their report that there are only two ways into the DWP property, one off Soledad Canyon Road, just east of the Golden Valley Road bridge and the other off Oak Avenue.

A DWP official found evidence of the theft during a security check carried out noon Oct. 30.

“He discovered the padlock had been broken off of the entrance off of Oak Avenue,” deputies wrote in their report.

The DWP official who noticed the theft also saw a man sitting in a car on the DWP property the same day.

When confronted, the man told the official he “drives up the location to meditate and study his Bible,” according to deputies.

In his report, the official noted he saw a Bible on the front seat of the man’s silver-colored Toyota RAV-4 SUV.

The man was told that the Sheriff’s Station would be notified.

The DWP official took a photograph of the car, deputies said.

No arrests have been made in connection with the theft.

In the last two years, local sheriff’s deputies have responded to several reports of metal theft in the Santa Clarita Valley.

In July 2011, deputies responded to more than a dozen reports of thieves having snipped the catalytic converters from under cars.

In the past year, metal thieves have repeatedly stolen hundreds of brass vases from the Eternal Valley Memorial Park cemetery on Sierra Highway, in Newhall.

And, on Oct. 8, thieves broke into a shooting range San Francisquito Canyon Road in Saugus, and stole about 100 pounds of brass bullet casings.

jholt@the-signal.com

661-287-5527

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