A western Pennsylvania utility company is blaming a copper thief for a power outage that knocked out service to thousands of customers.


 A western Pennsylvania utility company is blaming a copper thief for a power outage that knocked out service to thousands of customers.

Penn Power says a thief broke into a Butler County substation early Wednesday and cut copper off a transformer, triggering an explosion that knocked out power to about 3,800 customers.

Spokesman Doug Colafella says the theft is the fourth affecting substations in the area in the last week. He says the power company is contacting hospitals about burn victims because it's possible the thief was injured in the arc explosion.

Service was restored to many customers by midday but some may not get power back until Wednesday night.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.