Deputies: Wellton man shocked trying to steal copper

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Joshua Hess By Jennifer Thomas Joshua Hess By Jennifer Thomas

WELLTON, Ariz. – A man who was burned by electricity in Wellton, Ariz., Tuesday morning was attempting to steal copper wire off a utility power pole, according to the Yuma County Sheriff's Office.

Joshua Hess, 34, of Wellton, was airlifted to the Maricopa County Burn Center in Phoenix where he is listed in critical condition.

According to Yuma County sheriff's deputies, Hess was trying to steal copper wire off of a wooden utility power pole, which was stapled to the pole and attached to a static line for grounding purposes.

As he pulled the copper wire off of the pole it brushed up against the live power lines, delivering a 69,000-volt shock.

Sheriff's spokesman Alfonso Zavala said Hess is being investigated on numerous other scrap metal theft cases.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 928-783-4427 or to remain anonymous call 78-CRIME.