PANORAMA CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A man is being treated at a hospital for severe burns after police say he was shocked while trying to steal copper wiring from the Kaiser Permanente hospital in Panorama City.
Officials say the man, believed to be between 40 to 50 years old, climbed over the wall to Kaiser's electrical area around 11 p.m. Thursday and began cutting out the copper wire. They say he apparently cut the wrong wire and got shocked.
The incident knocked out power to part of the hospital, causing the backup generators to kick in. When crews from the Department of Water and Power responded to the scene, they found the suspect with burns to over 90 percent of his body.
The suspect, believed to be a transient, was initially treated at Kaiser and then transported to another hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. First responders say the suspect will likely not survive.
Police say people steal copper wiring to make money.
"It's a very lucrative business to take that copper in and cash it out, so commonly, we get people who are clipping it out of street signs and street lights and things like that," said Lt. Paul McLaughlin with the Los Angeles Police Department. "If they don't know what they're doing though, they're going to get hurt, and in this case, possibly killed."