Vandals use chainsaw to cut down power poles, leaving folks in the dark

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

FRANKLIN COUNTY, IL - (KFVS) - Chainsaw toting vandals cut off power to thousands on people in Northeast Franklin County, Sunday night.

Police say the vandals struck along North Log Cabin Road shortly before 10 o'clock Sunday night.

Within minutes they had cut through three power poles with a chainsaw.

"This one in particular is a 69,000 volt line," said Scott Ramsey President and General Manager at Southern Illinois Power Cooperative.

"So this is not your typical voltage that runs through the neighborhood and it's extremely dangerous if it's not controlled," Ramsey added.

The vandals walked away from the downed lines and left people who rely on the power from it in the dark.

"It saddens me and worries at the same time," said Amy Hines.

"We're out in a place where people don't bother other people," Hines said.  "Why would somebody do that to people who don't bother other people?"

But, police say the chainsaw vandals weren't done.  They struck again shortly after 10 o'clock on Bessie Road, cutting three more power poles down.

"It went off about twenty minutes after ten and I thought it was from the storm." said Carolyn Odom.  

"We hadn't had one here (a storm) but I know they had one down in Johnston City. So I thought the storm made the power go off," said Carolyn Odom.

Some of the power company's customers didn't get their power restored until late Monday afternoon.    The power company says it was a very expensive repair.

"Very costly, and I would tell you it probably exceeds $10,000 in this case. Which is a felony," Ramsey said.

Now police are asking for your help tracking down whoever cut down the power poles in Franklin County.

If you have any information your asked to call the Franklin County Sheriff's Department at 618-438-6011.

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