Man Gets 13 Months In Copper Wire Theft Case

HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) – A 34-year-old St. Paul man was sentenced to 13 months in prison in Dakota County Court on Thursday in connection with an incident where he tried to steal copper wire from a power sub-station and ended up causing a large power outage.

David John Stachowiak will ultimately have to spend about 50 days in jail as his sentence was stayed for five years.

Stachowiak and two others were charged on June 28 with criminal damage to property in connection with a Dec. 23, 2009 incident at the Dakota Electric Power Sub Station in Eagan.

According to a criminal complaint, police were called to that station at about 12:37 a.m. that morning on a report of a man on fire at the station. When authorities arrived, they discovered a man later identified as Stachowiak who had been shocked and had sustained severe burns to his body.

About the same time as Stachowiak was shocked, authorities said about 6,500 homes near the area of the station had a power outage. Police conducted a preliminary investigation which revealed that Stachowiak and the two others were at the station attempting to steal copper wire. Stachowiak apparently broke into the locked station, cut barbed wire at the top of a secured chain-link fence and was injured when connecting with a 69,000-volt transmission line.

The station where the incident occurred serves power to residents in western and south western Eagan.

  • Forrest Gump

    Momma always said, stupid is…

  • Guy

    Too bad he survived … maybe the public will have better luck once he gets out & tries again….

    • Hard on Idiots

      and you know he will try again!!!!! Better luck next time power lines, but try, try again

  • just sayin

    Maybe he fried himself straight?

    • Hard on Idiots

      doubt it

  • Slam the door

    This comment has nothing to do with the story but I wanted to share some information with readers regarding the quality of writing that is taking place on this site. My wife was reading an article yesterday and it was filled with spelling errors that should have been caught by spell check. She commented on the article and how bad the spelling and grammar was in the article. WCCO had such an issue with it that they took down her post and sent an email telling her that she would not be allowed to comment on stories if she commented on spelling errors in the future. I thought that this was real classless act on behalf of WCCO. You think that a news outlet like this would proof read or at least spell check the article before it is published. Needless to say I will not be reading articles from WCCO anymore.

    • Amy Rubins

      And did you notice the headline “Copper Theft Sentenced” apparently there is no integrity in journalism any longer.

  • Slam the door

    exactly. I did not want to comment on it in fear that I would be removed from the forum.

    • Sinclair

      CCO is a very confused outfit now. They have lost the identity that made them everyones primary channel. I don’t know what happened or whos new ideas are coming forth but they won’t be number one much longer on tv or radio.

  • Deep Thinker

    WCCO is lame when it comes to printing responses. Sometimes they won’t for no reason at all. it’s like a 7th grader with a grudge is in charge of these comment’s areas.

  • Slam the door

    I’m sure that all of our comments about how bad of a job they do will be gone very shortly once lunch is over.

  • Poor English

    Electrocuted = DEATH by fatal shock. He was NOT elecrtocuted! English usage in these articles often leaves me disappointed. Back to NPR for me!

    *deleting WCCO bookmark*

    • Amy Rubins

      I didn’t catch that. You’re right he’s not dead so he wasn’t electrocuted…my oh my, the reporting just get’s better and better.

      • Amy Rubins

        They’ve corrected their mistakes – thankfully

  • TMonkey

    They should have charged him “fraud by wire” or “wire tapping”. LOL


    I say throw him in a copper smelter!!!!!

  • One who knows

    In drunk frendly Wisconsin you get less time for killing someone with your car when intoxicated

  • Jack Mehoff

    He’s got that crack “spooked deer look”. The scabs have healed since being in jail for so long without his candy…

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