Thief tries steal copper wire, gets electrocuted

LYONS, Ore. - A man who broke into an abandoned plywood mill was killed while trying to steal some copper wire.

The body of 36-year-old Dustin Joe Harris of Lyons was discovered Tuesday afternoon inside a building on Lyons-Mill City Drive that used to be the Young & Morgan mill.

The building has been vacant for some time and an employee who was on-site overseeing the removal of equipment was the one who found the body.

Police say the employee initially smelled a slight odor of smoke but couldn't find the source. A couple of hours later, the person noticed burning embers in the air, which eventually led them to the body.

Investigators have determined that Harris had kicked in a wooden wall panel and tried to steal copper wiring from a 480-volt electrical panel board. The man was electrocuted and thrown about 16 feet from the panel. Police found pieces of his clothes up to 30 feet away.

Police say it took them a couple of days to identify the body, which was badly burned, and then notify the man's family.