Haverhill Police Believe Copper Theft Suspect Is Injured Or Dead

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

HAVERHILL (CBS) – Police are searching the Haverhill woods for a copper thief who may not even be alive. “Somebody was in the woods dead or injured,” says Detective Capt. Alan Ratte.

A National Grid crew went to check on a remote substation in the woods after some residents reported power outages. The crew discovered, “someone had attempted to cut a cable, a large cable, 23,000 volts. The hacksaw was found there. It’s all melted and full of soot and so forth. It looks like an explosion took place and the gate had been cut to get in there,” says Ratte.

He says the cable contains about $100.00 worth of copper.

There was no sign of the thieves. Police believe there are two of them. Police searched through the woods on foot with dogs, by helicopter, and in the nearby Merrimac River. “It would be extremely difficult to survive an explosion of that type in such a confined area,” says Ratte. Police checked area hospitals, but none have reported any burn victims.

The power has been restored, but neighbors are on edge. “When my wife told me about it, I told her to get the kids in the house,” says Eli Suarez.

More from Christina Hager

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