Copper theft leads to power outages in Raleigh County

Raleigh County
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UPDATE: 8/8/2018 AT 6PM:

According to investigators, someone stole around 300 feet of ground copper from the Stokeberry substation causing the power to be out from Tuesday, August 7, 2018 around 2:30 p.m. until Wednesday, August 8, 2018 around 5:30 a.m.

Phil Moye is with Appalachian Power. He explained what could have happened to the person who stole the copper. 

“It’s extremely dangerous. I mean I can count multiple times over the years where people have either been in our substations, or up on our poles trying to steal copper, and have died trying to do so. It’s a very dangerous thing,” Moye said. 

Moye told 59 News they have made some changes to the wires at the substations.

“We’re going to go in there when we replace the grounds and replaced all the wire that was stolen yesterday we replaced it with a material called copper weld which looks like copper on the outside but is steal on the inside and has no scrap value.” 

The Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department is still looking for the suspects. Appalachian Power said they are offering a reward for any tips that will lead to an arrest. 

If anyone has information about the theft, call Crimestoppers of West Virginia. 


Over 800 people are without power in Sophia after a suspect steals copper from a substation Tuesday afternoon.

According to Phil Moye with Appalachian Power, someone cut through the fence of a substation and cut the ground wire. This caused the substation to go out and power to shut-off for people in the area.

Moye said crews are on scene to restore power, but added this restoration is a dangerous process.

If anyone has information on this theft, call the AEP Security Hotline at 1-866-747-5845.

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