NC-17 “WARNING: GRAPHIC” Suspected copper thief burned atop Dallas utility pole dies

NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH, OK? I was told the photos from this e-mail originated from Jamaica, but I did some research and found this item on Miami-NBC from AP – which indicates these rather graphic photos came from Dallas and not in the Caribbean…

A suspected copper thief who had to be rescued from a Dallas utility pole after he was jolted and burned over half of his body has died. Fifty-one-year-old James Buster McKay died Saturday at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

The Dallas County medical examiner’s office confirmed the death today. McKay had been listed in critical condition.

A Dallas Fire-Rescue official said McKay had suffered third-degree burns and was burned on about 50 percent of his body.

On Friday, live television coverage of the one-and-a-half-hour rescue showed McKay’s shirt in tatters, his jeans mostly burned away from his body.

Police say when crews arrived, they found cut wires on the ground and McKay stuck between transformers on the pole.

Further research indicates as recycling becomes more viable worldwide, then folk who wish to make a fast buck take unnecessary risks –

Police said Friday’s incident caused more than $10,000 in damage.

Copper thefts have been a pervasive problem throughout North Texas as the price of the metal attracts those looking to make a quick buck. Thieves steal copper from a number of items, including street lights, air-conditioning units and electrical transformers, and trade in the valuable metal for cash at recycling businesses.

The thefts have affected businesses large and small. [The power] company suffered about $1 million in losses from such thefts last year. So far this year, more than $400,000 has been lost, the company said.

In May, the Dallas City Council approved stricter measures governing the sale of scrap metal to recycling businesses.

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