SPRING HILL — Thieves stole enough copper from a Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative substation Wednesday to knock out power to more than 6,000 customers.
Withlacoochee spokesman David Lambert said the copper was in use in the grounding grid at the company's Heritage Pines substation off East Road, near the Pasco-Hernando line.
Lambert didn't know the quantity of copper stolen or the dollar amount of the damage to the substation but said it was significant. He said 6,333 customers were without power for about an hour.
Copper thieves, he said, "literally risk life and limb stealing it."
"When people steal grounds and things like that, one, it costs members of the co-op money, but two, you can be killed. It's very dangerous to mess with electric lines," Lambert said.