Sheriff Says Copper Wire Thief Electrocuted

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Deputies say a man trying to steel copper wire ended up cutting his life short. Entergy workers responding to a substation in Houma because of a  power outage made a surprising discovery, the body of a man that appeared to have been electrocuted.

“And they see the man laying there unresponsive with a pair of wire cutters right by him and he was attempting to cut the ground wire on the substation and that’s when he got electrocuted,” said Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Vernon Bourgeois.

The man has been identified as 34 year old Timothy Lewis of Houma. The sheriff's office says it appears Lewis was after copper, which has been happening not only at this substation but at other electrical company substations in the area, like South Louisiana Electric Cooperative Association.

“You’ve got very very  high voltage going into these substations and then it’s being distributed to homes and churches in schools and neighborhoods and it’s a very deadly situation when you go in there and you tamper with anything, particularly taking copper grounds and cutting them,” said Joe Ticheli, SLECA’s Manager of Member Services and Communications.

The Entergy substation on Coteau Road even has graphic warning signs for people to keep out. And there is plenty of barbed wire around the property too, but somehow Lewis got inside, but never made it out.

“I call it  like an invisible monster, the power that is inside the power line, you know you  don’t see it so to people even power lines down the road, people don’t see what’s inside that wire, you don’t fathom  the power that’s inside those wires,” Sheriff Bourgeois said.

The case still remains under investigation. An autopsy will be done by the Terrebonne Parish Coroner's Office. About 1,500 Entergy customers were affected by the outage.


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