San Diego County deputies say that a man was electrocuted earlier this week while trying to steal copper wiring from power lines.
The man's body was found by deputies about 1 a.m. on Highway 76 in a rural area east of Oceanside. The deputies were checking out a report of a downed power line. They found two lines cut and one of them touching the man's body.
A ladder was reportedly found propped up against a power pole and cutting tools were scattered nearby.
The man has not been identified.
Copper theft has become increasingly common as the price of copper wiring has soared to $3 per pound.
Police across California have reported the theft of copper from freeway lamps and street lights.
California Highway Patrol Officers say freeway lights are hit about once per week and that the thefts are a hazard to motorists.