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Published September 06, 2013, 01:03 PM

$50 copper theft in Wahpeton costs $30K in repairs

WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) — The theft of about $50 worth of copper near Wahpeton will cost Otter Tail Power Co. more than $30,000 in repairs.

WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) — The theft of about $50 worth of copper near Wahpeton will cost Otter Tail Power Co. more than $30,000 in repairs.

The Forum says a caller reported arcing wires at the substation north of town around midnight Wednesday.

Authorities and company workers found that someone had cut the fence and ground wires from electrical equipment before hitting a live wire, which caused a flash.

A company spokeswoman says about 20 pounds of wire was missing.

The company's safety services manager says the thief or thieves risked burns or death, and several large customers had to shut down operations when the company turned off electricity to secure the scene.

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