FirstEnergy offering $5,000 reward after overhead wire stolen in Cleveland area

CLEVELAND-- FirstEnergy is offering a $5,000 in hopes of tracking down the person who stole overhead wire and other electrical equipment in the Cleveland area.

The suspects may be dressed as utility workers with hard hats and reflective vests, the company said in a news release on Monday. They even go door to door to tell residents about a power outage to stop customers from reporting problems to the Illuminating Company. That gives the thieves more time to the steal the wire.

"The individuals are creating a safety and service reliability issue by cutting energized wires and letting them drop to the ground," the company said.

FirstEnergy is working with the Cleveland Division of Police on its investigating into the thefts.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FirstEnergy Tip Line at 866-487-2743 or Cuyahoga County Crime Stoppers at 216-252-7463. Tips can remain anonymous, and reward money is available for the successful arrest and prosecution.

To report downed wires, call 888-544-4877 immediately.