Officials: Sumter man attempts to steal copper from electrical pole - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Officials: Sumter man attempts to steal copper from electrical pole

(Sumter) April 25, 2006 - A Sumter man was found in critical condition after officials say he tried to steal something from an electrical pole.

Barely conscious and trapped between transformers is where Sumter police found Wayne Odom.

His stepfather says a bad crack habit led to the serious injury. Marshall Knotts says, "He would do anything he could do to get it. He was so strung out."

Sunday night police say Odom climbed an electrical pole and was shocked. What was he trying to get his hands on, they think, was copper.

Chief Patty Patterson says copper is normally stolen from construction sites, not electrical poles, "I don't think it would be of great value and clearly not of value to put yourself in danger, to run the risk of major bodily harm to yourself."

Police actually recovered copper from Odom's backyard.

Odom has a long criminal past including burglary, grand larcency and drug charges. And now he could face punishment for stealing copper.

His stepfather says if Odom survives, the injury could be a good thing, "If this is not a wake up call, there's never going to be one... "

Odom is in critical condition at the Augusta Burn Center.

Officials say the copper they think Odom was trying to steal is worth about $2 per pound.

Reported by Maggie Alexander

Updated 11:18pm by Chantelle Janelle

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