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Two men arrested in copper theft that knocked out power

LAND O'LAKES — Two men wanted for stealing copper wire from two Withlachoochee River Electric Cooperative substations have been taken into custody.

Joshua Lee Petty, 25, told friends he was "not going down without a fight" according to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report. But he and Donald Rebston, 29, were arrested without incident, after authorities found them using "investigative techniques that we are not going to talk about," sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said.

In one of the burglaries, authorities said, the men stole about 200 feet of copper wire, valued at about $1,196, from a substation in northwest Pasco. The thieves caused about $15,000 in damage, triggering an Aug. 4 power outage that left thousands without electricity and cost the co-op about $1,800 in lost revenue, deputies said.

Petty and Rebston were both taken to the Land O'Lakes jail and charged with criminal mischief and grand theft. Petty, who was arrested Sunday, also faces a charge of dealing in stolen property and is being held in lieu of $145,000 bail. Rebston, who was picked up Monday, also faces a charge of false verification of ownership and is being held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

Two men arrested in copper theft that knocked out power 08/29/11 [Last modified: Monday, August 29, 2011 6:35pm]
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