WYOMING COUNTY, N.Y. — According to the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office, someone stole around 4,000 pounds of copper from the Wind Farm Power Station in Orangeville.
"It was stolen from the powerhouses on Center Line Road in the town of Orangeville and the total loss is about $20,000, and that's material alone," said Sheriff Greg Rudolph.
Deputies say the thefts began at the end of June when insulated copper was taken from a large wooden spool that was unsecured at the time. They said another theft occurred at the beginning of August. Then, during the weekend of Aug. 21, someone entered the fenced-in barbed wire power station by cutting through a metal fence.
"Some of the copper that was stolen was insulated and some was actually bare. It appears to be three-quarter thick, one-inch diameter braided copper, and as you can see here, it's just been cut in the center and stripped. Cut in sections, so its not being burned off; it's actually being cut and removed that way. It appears it's someone with knowledge with this background," said Investigator Aaron Anderson.
Workers say the power station was not live at the time but the company is in the process of going live. They say they are worried what will happen if someone tries to steal copper again.
"This is very much different than a house. This is 230,000 volts. You get within eight feet from this, you're more than just dead. You're vaporized. You're really risking life and limb trying to pick up a few hundred dollars," said general foreman Dave Copestick.
O'Connell Electric is offering a $1,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest.
"So that we can deter it, stop it, before someone gets hurt," said Copestick.
The sheriff did say they have contacted all scrap yards in the area, asking them to be on the look out for large quantities of copper.
Anyone with information about the stolen copper or if anyone sees anything out of the ordinary is asked to contact the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office.