Workers search for thieves in South Columbus woods

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A normal day on the job turned into an hour long search through the woods for a few construction workers.  According to Columbus Police, two men were seen stealing transformers from a construction site in South Columbus, but they were able to get away.

Georgia Power representatives said they believe the men got away with one transformer, a loss of about a thousand dollars. Police found another one close to the main road.

Local recyclers say it would have been worth a couple hundred dollars.

Robert Watkins from Georgia Power said says it could cost them a lot more, their life, "Going out there and doing something with these energized conductors is really taking their life into their hands."

Workers tell News Leader Nine that two men had been coming around every afternoon trying to scrap any kind of metal they can find. But, on Friday it went too far.  "We were out here working and two gentlemen in a green truck had a chain hooked up to a Georgia Power box, just dragging it through the field," says Erick Holle.

The site's contractor tried to block the entrance to the old trailer park where his men were working.  Then he says that they left the transformer and ran.  He told police one man took off on foot towards Oxbow Meadows, while another drove further into the woods.

Holle says an hour long search of the woods left them empty handed.  But, he believes they may be back, "The way money is tight right now for everyone, I would not doubt it."

©2010 WTVM. All rights reserved.