Police say the person who was found dead near a Nova Scotia Power substation in Stellarton, N.S., last week was a 38-year-old man from Churchville, N.S. But they are not identifying him at this time out of respect for his family.
The medical examiner has ruled the cause of death as electrocution, police said in a news release on Tuesday.
Police said they had responded to a call from Nova Scotia Power employees at 8 a.m. on Feb. 7, and found the body after arriving at the substation on North Ford Street.
"We're investigating attempted theft of copper wire. We believe some of the live wires were compromised, which led to the power outage," Stellarton Police Chief Mark Hobeck told CBC last week.
Stellarton Police have encountered copper-wire theft before, Hobeck said, but he has never seen a death related to it.
"It's something that's been going on around the province for a little bit of time, theft of copper wire," he said, adding that the metal is easy to resell.
"Anytime we investigate an incident like this, it's troubling and it's troubling for the officers involved as well as the Nova Scotia Power employees that were on the scene as well," he said.
Dave Pickles, the chief operating officer of Nova Scotia Power, said in a news release to CBC that the incident "is a grave reminder of just how dangerous the theft of copper wire can be." The company is co-operating with the police investigation, he added.
Over 1,000 Nova Scotia Power customers lost power in Pictou County temporarily due to the incident.
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