Suspected OC Copper Thief Dies After Suffering Electrical Burns

Two men tampered with wiring at a now-defunct Motor Lodge in Anaheim on Friday night, police said

By Christina Cocca
|  Saturday, May 11, 2013  |  Updated 5:11 PM PDT
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Suspected OC Copper Thief Dies From Electrical Burns

Two copper thieves who scrapped wire from a vacant Motor Lodge in Anaheim prompted an hours-long power outage through 1 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2013. Aerial video showed pitch-black streets.

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One of two suspected Orange County copper thieves who suffered serious burns while tampering with wiring at a vacant Anaheim hotel died Saturday afternoon at an area hospital, police said.

His name will be released pending notification of next of kin, Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said.
The condition of the second suspect was not immediately known by police but he remained in the hospital.

Thieves scrapped copper from a now-defunct Motor Lodge around 9 p.m. Friday, prompting a power outage, Anaheim police Sgt. Rudy Delgado said.

Witnesses reported hearing an explosion at the fenced-off hotel, he said, adding that power was lost at four hotels in the vicinity of the vacant property at 444 W. Katella Ave.

The two men were taken from the hotel to UCI Medical Center for treatment of electrical shocks, Dunn said. He described their injuries as life threatening.

Aerial video showed pitch-black streets. Power was restored around 1 a.m., a representative from Anaheim Public Utilities said.

Katella Avenue was closed between Harbor Boulevard and Clementine Street during the outage, Dunn said.

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