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90 solar panels stolen from Hoosier Energy property in Henryville

WHAS-TV Louisville logo WHAS-TV Louisville 8/16/2019 Jessie Cohen

Almost 100 solar panels gone overnight, an energy source that provides service to southern Indiana customers through Hoosier Energy.

Off the beaten path in Henryville, Indiana, you can't miss the warning signs that say it’s dangerous, an electrical hazard. They are asking for everyone except authorized personnel to keep out and stay behind the barbed wire fence.

But obviously the message was not clear enough to someone or a group of people just before Wednesday morning.

"Some of our contract workers who were simply there to perform general maintenance and checks noticed, our fence had been cut, solar panels had been stolen,” said Greg Seiter, who is the Communications Manager for Hoosier Energy.

In total, 90 were taken. A value of about $20,000. But these thieves can't just hop online and sell what they have taken.

"These solar panels cannot be used for resale purposes they cannot be installed in other words at residential properties so essentially the black market value is essentially zero,” Seiter said.

So they went beyond the fence, stole the panels to be left with nothing in return, except risking their lives.

"The criminals here, whoever stole these floor panels, were not only risking electrocution they were literally risking their lives by breaking into and coming near an electrical facility like that,” Seiter said.

"For someone to go into there without the proper tools without the proper training and steal these items, it was very dangerous,” said Scottie Maples with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

He says it was most likely either one person who took more than one trip, or multiple people.

Seiter says the solar panels are definitely traceable, so that will help with the search.

If you know anything about the thieves behind this operation, you are encouraged to contact the sheriff's office at 812-280-2276.

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