Denton police almost nabbed a copper thief trying to break into a power substation.
But the bad guy got away.
Officer Ryan Grelle said an officer had confronted a suspected copper thief at a substation, but the man got away.
Grelle said the power substations on North Locust Street, Pockrus Page Road and East Hickory Creek have all been broken into and have all had copper stolen from the grounds. Police said they believe the thief is a professional based on how the copper cable was cut.
"They think that the person that cut this had special tools to keep from getting burnt, hurt, whatever, when they cut this wire," Grelle said.
Some of the stolen cable wire is as thick as a quarter, weighing roughly 5 pounds per foot. At one location, a thief made away with four 150-foot sections of cable weighing roughly 3,000 pounds.
Another copper thief hit a busy strip mall. The large power box still had power running through it. Grelle said one of the wires shows signs that it touched another wire, creating a power flash, which could have burned the thief.
But the person feeling burned is Gary Hack.
Hack owns The Bicycle Path, a cycling store in the strip mall. Hack said he lost power to his business for two days and fell behind on his repairs because all his equipment wasn't working.
"We lost our air compressor, which is very useful, and we only had half the lights going, so it was pretty dark in here," he said. "Since the other businesses in the plaza weren't open, it really hurt us for traffic as well."
Hack figures the two days of darkness cost him more than $1,200.
"They're losing money because they can't work, so it's costing a lot of people money," Grelle said.
Anyone with information on the thefts should contact the Denton Police Department at 940-399-8181