SABLE helps nab alleged copper thieves
 

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- New Hanover County Sheriff's Deputies used the SABLE helicopter to find two men over the weekend wanted for allegedly stealing copper.

Deputies say Daniel Johnson and Brent McGhee had several pieces of cut copper ground cable from a Duke Energy power station on Blue Clay Road.

Both men were charged with felony larceny, trespassing, and damage to property.

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Too bad they didn't get zapped.

Just curious how much it cost to put SABLE up in the air? I sure hope it was worth getting these two violent criminals off the street! I wonder if the copper was even worth a gallon of chopper fuel? Great crime fighting tool, but come on guys, lets use it wisely.

You wouldn't be complaining if they caught someone stealing from you! One poster made a comment a few days ago that I really like.. "It's ok to be an idiot, just keep it to yourself".

Just be glad the police are using every tool at their disposal to protect us and our property. I don't know about you, but I would be upset if I had to spend the night without heat because of a couple of worthless copper thieves damaging part of our electrical infrastructure.

First of all, you are not going to enough copper from a substation by cutting grounds before you float things enough that the ground isn't a ground anymore. Cut enough, and you WILL be lit up like a Christmas tree. Here's link listing a bunch of cases where the thieves didn't end up so good. http://iowacoldcases.org/the-copper-theft-epidemic/

The other issue is that if you do make it out alive with some copper, you potentially leave the sub in a condition where it can either fail, or worse, a utility employee can get injured or killed. These places are designed to have ALL of the hardware intact to operate safely. They didn't say which of the two subs the theft occurred at, but at one of them you get your choice of either 115,000 or 230,000 volts, the other you get your choice of either 115,000, or 23,000 volts. I'm a former PE employee, and I've spent a bunch of time in both these subs.

***Daniel here has a long history of drug convistions, and other felonies.
http://webapps6.doc.state.nc.us/opi/viewoffender.do?method=view&offender...

***Congrats to Brett. He's had a bunch of misdemeanors, but now he's got a couple felonies on him. Caught in the act is hard to deny, and I hope PE / Duke makes sure he doesn't plead down to a parking violation.
http://webapps6.doc.state.nc.us/opi/viewoffender.do?method=view&offender...

Brent now has ONE felony and it will be reduced to a parking violation. With the help of his attorney that the public will pay for, he will only get probation.