7 indicted for copper thefts from Ohio power sites

CLEVELAND (AP) — A federal indictment accuses seven men of arranging or carrying out copper thefts at about two dozen electrical substations in northeast Ohio.

The U.S. attorney in Cleveland said Tuesday that the thefts created a risk of electrical blackouts and threatened the safety of utility workers who maintain and repair power stations.

The indictment lists 25 thefts and five theft attempts. It also alleges five of the men sold the copper to scrap yards for a total of more than $15,000.

The thefts occurred between January and May at substations owned by Cleveland Public Power and FirstEnergy Corp. The power companies made emergency repairs.

All seven men are charged with conspiracy to damage energy facilities. Some also are charged with destruction to such sites.

No attorneys were listed for them.

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