A Pleasanton man learned the hard way why it's not a good idea to steal copper.
He was disfigured after he was shocked by 138,000 volts.
Lucky to be alive, Blake Higdon is telling his story only to KENS 5 in the hopes of saving someone else's life.
I'm a fine example of what not to do, he said.
Higdon never faced criminal charges. With no arms and no legs, he says that was his punishment for trying to steal copper.
It threw me like 28 feet, said Higdon. I thought I had got shot in the head. But it wasn't a gun shot that bound Higdon to a wheelchair. Higdon was shocked while trying to pull off the deadly crime. I was robbing copper off a top line, he said.
All you think is man it's three dollars a pound, said Higdon. I was on fire. Five weeks later, the then 24 year-old woke up in a hospital bed at BAMC with his arms and legs amputated. They had to amputate me nine times in a 48-hour period, he said. My bone marrow was fried.
The only thing that saved me it disintegrated my hands, he said. It's definitely a miracle and I could have died, I should have died.
Eyewitness News covered the incident back in 2006 off FM 476. Since then, there have been countless other copper thefts including a deadly one last week in Atascosa. Deputies say Guy Harlan was shocked by 69,000 volts of electricity and his body was found several feet away from the transformer.
Hasn't he heard my story? asked Higdon. CPS Energy needs to put a picture of me up on these electric poles, he added. It's really a gory thing. They were amazed my eyeballs didn't melt, said Higdon.
But Higdon says he has his faith and he believes everything happens for a reason. He wants to spare another person from his pain.
Now every time I see a kid doing bad things I got to curse him out and tell him how it really is, said Higdon. I screwed up and lost my arms and my legs from 130 thousand volts over a few pounds of copper, he said. I was trying to get weed and rent money.
Higdon is trying to raise money for prosthetic arms and legs and is doing sit up challenges in hopes of getting a sponsor.