NEW ORLEANS -- Police are searching for the man they believe stole from an Entergy substation, forcing officials to cutoff power to thousands of customers while they made repairs.
According to the New Orleans Police Department, 32-year-old Rickey Telsede stole copper-weld wire from the Entergy substation in the 1800 block of Julia Street on June 29.
An Entergy employee told police that a hole had been cut into the chain-link fence around the substation and that three-to-five feet of iron and copper wire was stolen from 21 breaker boxes, 20 tower legs and three transformers. Police say the wire was cut with an unknown device.
Engineers were forced to cut power to several parts of the city to make repairs. The outage affected nearly 5,000 customers in parts of the French Quarter, Central Business District, Mid-City, Broadmoor and Central City, frustrating Entergy New Orleans and businesses unable to feed people during the busy lunch hour.
Police say officers received an anonymous tip claiming that the wire was stolen by a homeless man living in a lot near the substation. After further investigation, police identified Telsede as a suspect in the case.
Detectives obtained a warrant for Telsedes arrest. Once located, Telsede will be booked with unauthorized entry to a critical infrastructure, theft of utility property and theft of copper and other metals.
Detectives are investigating to see if he is responsible for other thefts reported at the same Entergy substation.
Anyone with information on Rickey Telsede's location is asked to call First District Detectives at 504-658-6010 or CRIMESTOPPERS at 504-822-1111.