Shocking: Copper Theft Gone Wrong

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Oct 22, 2009  |  Updated 11:56 AM PDT
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The mean-spirited would call it Darwinism at work.  A suspected thief got the shock of his life after apparently trying to steal copper.

The man is in a Northern California burn unit after his alleged robbery attempt when horribly wrong.

Police were tipped to the crime by a power outage.  Soon after the power went out someone called the Rodeo Fire Department to report a telephone pole fire.

As crews responded to the fire, they noticed a man walking down the street suffering from visible burns.

Investigators with the East Bay Regional Parks District say they think the man was trying to steal copper and accidental cut through a live line.

"In the rural areas of Contra Costa County, there is a theft of copper issue that has surfaced since the recession has begun. I would say it's dangerous and it's also theft," Dave Davidson with the park department.

A helicopter airlifted the victim/suspect to the UC Davis Burn Center.  Doctors say he has second and third degree burns.

They hope to get more information after they interview the victim/suspect.

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