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Westar Energy officials who are dealing with $200,000 in damage at a substation over the weekend say thieves also hit two other substations.

The utility discovered damage Monday at substations near Valley Center and in Wichita.  Westar Manager Doug VenJohn says thieves have hit 31 substations just in April. There were only 15 similar thefts in all of 2012.

Westar crews were at six different substations Monday to make repairs related to copper thefts. The company will replace the stolen copper with materials that have no scrap value.

Copper Thieves Got Away, But Are Likely Injured

Apr 29, 2013

Kansas utility company officials say someone who caused a power outage and more than $150,000 in damage at a substation could possibly be seriously injured.

Westar crews went to check on a Wichita substation at 5:45 a.m. Saturday found grounding cables and copper wire missing and noticed the chain link fence was cut.

Westar says whoever broke into the substation was messing with dangerous materials and probably was severely injured when the transformer shorted out. They could possibly be blind, deaf and seriously burned.

Westar Crews Help Restore Power on East Coast

Nov 1, 2012
Michael Kappel / Flickr

Crews from Westar Energy are helping restore the power in Wilkes Barre, Penn., after Hurricane Sandy left damage and widespread power outages in its wake.

Westar Spokesman Nick Bundy says helping out now could later benefit customers in Kansas.

"Once their done assisting this utility company, which it sounds like they didn't get the brunt of it, I imagine they will go on to assist another utility company," he says.