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Thieves target OG&E crews trying to restore power

OKLAHOMA CITY - While crews were trying to get the power restored to thousands of Oklahomans, an alleged thief was targeting them.

OG&E officials said someone targeted their crews Monday afternoon working in the area of N.W. 18th and May, one of the areas hardest hit from this weekend's storms.

"We had two of our vehicles vandalized and mobile data units were taken out of those two trucks," said Brian Alford, with OG&E.

The mobile data units look like laptops and are used to communicate with crews in the field.

But officials say they are worthless to anyone outside of the business.

"We have tracking devices built in to those units, so we know where they are and when they're activated. We can actually wipe them clean," said Alford.

Residents who live in the area and were waiting to get power back Monday afternoon were not happy to hear about the crime.

"These guys gotta be dispatched and work and to not have the equipment they need in order to do what they need to service the community, it really stinks," said Tom Manners, who lives just down 18th.

Manners did get his power back Monday, but no thanks to the criminal who committed the crime of opportunity.

"There's nothing good there for them, but it impacts all of us who are OG&E customers," said Manners.

Most residents in that area now have their power back but OG&E officials said the theft caused a major headache for them.

"Just an extraordinary inconvenience for us as we're in the midst of repairing all the damage from the storm that we now have to take these two folks out of the field and get them new equipment," said Alford.

Alford says the devices do not contain sensitive customer information and cannot be used to access their system.

They are currently working with police to track the mobile data units.