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Theft of copper cable from wind farm site under investigation

CARLOCK – McLean County sheriff’s police are investigating the theft of copper cable from 11 wind turbines under construction at the White Oak Wind Farm near Carlock.

Lt. Jeff Elston said the cables, that are about an inch in diameter, were stripped from the turbines, causing in excess of $133,000 in damage. Copper can be sold for $3 a pound, he said, so the thefts would have brought between $20,000 and $30,000.

“Metal thefts are the big thing now,” Elston said. “We also have a lot at cell phone towers.”

The thefts at White Oak occurred between March 4-21, he said.

Invenergy LLC, owners of the White Oak Wind Farm, said in a statement: “We’re working with authorities as they investigate the matter, and we’ve stepped up security at the site.”

The company said it did not cause a work stoppage.

A spokesman at Horizon Wind Energy, which has built several wind farms east of Bloomington, said he was not aware of any thefts at those sites when they were under construction.

In November, six employees of Corn Belt Energy were charged with theft over $300 of copper wire from job sites.