Thieves steal wire, leave behind danger at PSE substation

Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies don’t know who robbed a local Puget Sound Energy substation, causing $10,000 of damage, July 27.

It’s the most recent in a string of five substation robberies, three of which happened within a relatively short amount of time.

This time, the thief stole about 50 feet of grounding wire, attached to equipment in the substation to prevent electrocution of workers.

He or she also stole a 10-foot piece of flat copper bar.

The wire’s value was estimated to be $100, and the bar’s value was estimated to be $500.

The thief apparently broke a hole through the front and back fence, causing another $400 in damage to the substation.

But the most expensive element to the break-in, was taking the substation off-line during evening hours and paying crews overtime to make the necessary repairs.

The theft was dangerous for both the thief and workers entering the substation, explained Eugene E. Thompson, a 63-year-old The Puget Sound Energy employee who reported the incident, because grounding wire is attached to equipment in the sub-station to prevent electrocution of workers.

When it was removed, the equipment became active.

When Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the incident, they “set up containment” and called a K-9 unit to try to locate the suspect.

The dog led them to Richard Lee Such, a 27-year-old transient.

Such was arrested and booked into jail on several outstanding warrants and violation of a no-contact order.

The reporting party said that Such was not the suspect.

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