A 56-year-old died due to electrocution while trying to steal electricity in Alabama. His skull was found outside a home and the rest of his body was found under an electricity pole out the front of another residence, on June 21.
Authorities found the skull outside a Calhoun County home on Friday morning. Sheriff Matthew Wade said it belongs to 56-year-old Randall Stephens, Advance Local reported.
Wade said Stephens had been behind bars from Oct. 2018 on drug and gun charges. He was however released from Calhoun County Jail on May 16.
At the time of arrest, the Stephens was using stolen electricity, Wade said.
The owner of a home in Cedar Springs Community first noticed the skull on Friday at 7 a.m. while leaving his home, and reported it to the deputies.
— ink realm (@inkrealm) June 22, 2019
He told police that his dogs had probably dragged the skull onto his driveway, reported the WBRC.
After finding the skull, the deputies started the search for the body. They found it two-tenths of a mile away, in front of another residence, reported Advance Local.
The body was badly decomposed when it was found under a power pole, according to Wade. Authorities found a ladder and climbing spikes next to the power pole and there was also a belt, and jumper cable handles atop the pole.
The utility pole was stationed at Stephens’s residence, according to WBRC.
Police investigations found the deceased was trying to jump the power lines and gain illegal access to electricity at his residence.
— Chad Jones (@abighangingchad) June 21, 2019
“It appears Mr. Stephens was trying to jump power or steal power for his home, and apparently hit the wrong line or the wrong connection, and it killed him,” Wade told WBRC.
Authorities don’t know the exact date of when Stephen got electrocuted but said that it most likely happened immediately after he was released from jail. Nobody reported him missing.
“Respect electricity,’’ Wade told Advance Local. “Not only is stealing power illegal it is deadly.”
Woman Taking Selfie, Dies
Witnesses cited in a report by The Sun said local police near the village of Kuznetsy were still trying to identify the woman’s badly burned body.
Woman electrocuted and burned alive trying to take the perfect selfie https://t.co/lKIRA48epN
— The Sun (@TheSun) May 9, 2019
The only description of the victim released by police is that the woman was 5 feet 6 inches tall.
A phone was found near the scene, which is located about 50 miles east of Moscow, according to the report.
Olga, a witness, was cited in the report as saying: “Most likely she decided that she wouldn’t touch anything and nothing bad would happen. But it is enough only to climb on the transformer structure to get a severe electric shock.”
Police said there have been no reports of women missing in the area that fit the victim’s description. They have appealed to the public for help identifying the mystery woman.
Russia is second only to India for the number of recorded selfie deaths.
The United States loses $6 billion of power to theft every year, according to Forester Media.
It says after credit card data and automobiles, electricity is the third most stolen commodity in the country. The report says a substantial amount of electricity theft is done by undercover marijuana-cultivation collectives across North America.
“People tamper with the meters, bypass them, or set up an independent grid connection to tap into the transformer. Some even put their own transformer on a higher voltage line,” Matt Spaur, senior marketing manager with Space-Time Insight told Forester Media.
The report says energy theft in North America is only 1-3 percent but in other countries, it reaches up to 10-40 percent. It says, however, it is still very difficult to curb electricity-theft in the continent because the thieves are becoming more sophisticated by the day.
Tom Ozimek contributed to this report.