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Attempted cable theft causes power outage

Rock Falls Police: Cut cable caused pole to snap

Published: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

ROCK FALLS – An attempt to cut and steal a guy wire that was supporting a power pole resulted in a citywide power outage early Friday, Rock Falls Police said in a news release.

At 3:03 a.m. Friday, Rock Falls Police started receiving phone calls about a power outage in the middle of the city. The outage left 1,800 customers without power until 4:15 a.m., when the Rock Falls Electric Department was able to reroute lines, the release said.

Police say that at 11 a.m., a maintenance crew from ComEd found a downed power pole on the Hennepin Canal bicycle path, east of the canal. The pole apparently snapped after a guy wire that had been supporting it was cut. The steel wire was painted green, Rock Falls Police Chief Mike Kuelper said, and so it was likely that whoever cut it assumed it was copper.

Kuelper said that it caused damage of more than $25,000, and that those responsible would face felony charges of criminal damage to property and attempted theft – crimes that result in sentences of 2 to 5 years and 1 to 3 years, respectively.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Rock Falls Police Department at 815-622-1140, or Crime Stoppers at 877-625-7867, or email the Rock Falls tip line at tips@rockfalls61071.com.

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