VICTORVILLE (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say a Hesperia man caused a major power outage to “a very large portion of the community” and suffered burns to more than half his body while trying to steal wiring from a transformer early Tuesday morning.
A Southern California Edison employee reported a man down at an old Walmart location at 15272 Bear Valley Road at about 2:41 a.m. Tuesday, San Bernardino County sheriff’s officials said.
The SoCal Edison worker said he was notified at about 1 a.m. that a transformer at the location had been completely shut down. When he went out to investigate the outage, he found 33-year-old Eric Hester lying near it, according to Mara Rodriguez of the Victorville Police Department.
Hester, who was breathing, appeared to be in severe pain, suffering burns to over half his body.
Investigators say evidence at the scene indicated Hester had broken into the transformer to steal wiring, but he received an electrical shock when he began cutting the wires, Rodriguez said.
Hester was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. His condition was not immediately known.
The damage to the transformer resulted in a major power outage to “a very large portion of the community,” officials said. SoCal Edison was working to repair the transformer and restore power.