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Grocery store loses power after failed copper theft attempt

Kai Porter
November 22, 2017 06:17 PM

PLACITAS, N.M. -- The only grocery store in Placitas is out thousands of dollars after thieves broke in earlier this week looking for copper. Those thieves didn't get away with what they were looking for, but they managed to briefly put the store out of business.

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The break-in happened overnight last Sunday at The Merc. The thieves broke into an electrical box and tried to steal big copper cables that run down these tubes and supply power to the store. Though their efforts weren't successful, they forced the power to shut off throughout the entire grocery store.

Owner Orville McCallister closed his store last Monday as a result.

“The first thing that goes when you lost power in these display cases is ice cream and frozen foods,” he said. The second close thereafter is [the] produce, then meats and then pre-prepared products like meals-to-go, and things like that.

His crew scrambled to salvage what they could from the display cases. Still, McCallister said he lost around $5,000 in spoiled products -- not to mention about $3,000 in repairs.

"And I'd like to thank the people involved that helped us because they were very, very good,” he said. “PNM was out here first to shut down the entire system. Then our electricians had to make repairs then we had to as a result of making the repairs we had to get inspectors by the state electrical inspectors.”

The store has been broken into before, but McCallister said this is the first time they say someone has tried to steal these copper cables.

Credits

Kai Porter

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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