Home > Fatalities, Industrial, Shock > NC Teen Electrocuted Trying to Steal Copper from Substation

NC Teen Electrocuted Trying to Steal Copper from Substation

LAURINBURG, NC – A Laurinburg teenager was electrocuted while trying to steal copper, officials said.

Jeffery Caleb Frederick, Jr., 18, of Park Drive, received a fatal electric shock while breaking into a power substation near Wagram on Friday, according to Investigator Tina Strickland.

Two of his friends, 20-year-old Howard Worriax, Jr. and 47-year-old Barry Locklear, both of McGirt’s Bridge Road, Maxton, were helping Frederick in the theft attempt, Strickland said.

After Frederick received the high-voltage shock, Worriax and Locklear drug him to Frederick’s Toyota Camry and drove him to the intersection of McGirt’s Bridge Road and Lee’s Mill Road, Strickland said. They placed Frederick in the driver’s seat and walked a mile to their home.

Strickland said the pair never attempted to find medical aid for the 18-year-old and failed to contact authorities.

The pair are charged with concealing or failing to report a death, according to a sheriff’s report.

Bond was set at $20,000 for Locklear, while a bond had not been set by press time for Worriax, according to Strickland.

Strickland said had they called EMS, the pair would only face misdemeanor charges of larceny and trespassing instead of a felony.

She added that the property’s owner could still press charges in the theft.

Sheriff Shep Jones said this adds to a string of unsuccessful attempts at stealing wiring.

“We’ve made several arrests in the past couple of weeks for the theft of copper wire,” he said.

Jones said it was “unfortunate” that someone lost their life while trying to harvest the metal from a live substation.

“Hopefully people can learn from this, that this is not a wise thing to do

and that it’s just not worth it to do something like this.”

He also said he did not know why

“I don’t know if it was panic on their part or what, but unfortunately they did not report it and by not reporting it, they are charged with a felony,” he said.

Jones thought it tragic that a teen lost his life.

“Our prayers go out to the family,” he said.

Lockelar has had more than two dozen prior convictions for charges including breaking and entering, larceny, and receiving stolen goods

Read more: The Laurinburg Exchange – Deputy Teen electrocuted in theft attempt

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