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Copper thieves strike again on Kauai


For the fourth time since July, thieves stole or attempted to steal copper lines owned by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

Equipment in Puhi in Kauai was stolen in the latest incident, which was discovered on Monday. 

At about 4:30 p.m. a blown fuse occurred in Huleia Valley. KIUC workers responded and discovered about 600 feet of uninsulated copper had been stolen. The scrap value of the copper is estimated at $150, according to the utility company. 

On July 3, someone used a chain to pull down power lines on Maalo Road near Wailua Falls, stealing about $1,500 worth of copper. 

Copper wiring also was stolen from poles a couple weeks later in two separate incidents on Ihu Road and Halewili Road in Kalaheo. In a news release, spokeswoman Shelley Paik said the wiring was stolen after the thief or thieves cut down the poles. 

Thieves on the Garden Island also have targeted poles and equipment owned by the Kekaha Agricultural Association and Kauai Coffee in recent months. 

Tampering with live power lines to steal copper is extremely dangerous, said KIUC official Carey Koide in a news release.

In January 2011, a 34-year-old man suffered severe burns to his face and body after he allegedly attempted to break into an electrical vault near the former Hard Rock Cafe on Oahu to steal copper wire. In September of that year, a 45-year-old man suffered severe burns after he allegedly attempted to steal copper wiring from a Sand Island warehouse. 

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