Houston-area business owners frustrated after thieves stole copper wire from utility poles, causing them to lose power

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) — Business owners in southwest Houston were dismayed after several thieves allegedly stole copper from utility poles and left them without power, police said.

Aaron German, whose State Farm business is now without power, sent ABC13 a surveillance video showing several people working together to make it happen.

The thieves were seen in the 8400 block of Hall Road around 3 a.m. on Wednesday.

“I’m pretty confident they should be able to get caught,” said the German, who hoped the video would help police.

This is the second time thieves have pulled feet of copper out of the ground, causing power outages for weeks.

German said he realized what was going on Wednesday morning when his phone went off.

“I got an alert that only 5% of customers in your area had power outages,” he said. “I thought it was a weird notification.”

Within minutes of the crime, CenterPoint Energy showed up to see what happened.

The utility said the copper was stolen from customer-owned equipment. Customers will need to find a licensed electrician to replace the wires, and once repaired, they can reconnect the customer’s service.

Therefore, the German had to redeploy his staff.

“Having everyone tune in there and then sit where we might not have a place for them to sit down and be able to do their job properly,” he said. “So, that part was very frustrating.”

As copper and other metals increase in value, CenterPoint said they have seen an increase in wire theft. The company wants the public to call 911 if they notice anything unusual or see someone trying to cut a wire.

CenterPoint said it has seen an increase in wire theft as the value of copper and other metals has risen.

The police have yet to find whoever stole the copper in the first place, but the Germans believe in karma.

“Everything you put into the universe comes back to you, so, these bad behaviors come to you,” Germain said.

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