Harvey power substation

Thieves broke into this fenced-in NB Power substation to steal copper wire which caused an explosion and cut power to people in the Village of Harvey for much of Saturday. (Matt Bingley/CBC)

RCMP are investigating and people are fuming after thieves broke into an NB Power substation in Harvey, stole copper wiring and left the village with no electricity for much of Saturday.

Police say the vandals entered the fenced in substation early Saturday, located along Route 3, and stripped away copper ground wires which caused electrical panels to short out. RCMP say the thieves caused an explosion which resulted in many homes in the area losing power.

'When I heard it was vandals, quite honestly, I wanted somebody strung up.' - Deana Stewart, owner Westphalia Bakery

The outage forced the cancellation of the Harvey Winter Carnival, along with high school basketball games.

Deana Stewart, who runs the Westphalia Bakery in Harvey, says after losing business during the December ice storm she was furious to hear what had caused this outage.

"When I heard it was vandals, quite honestly, I wanted somebody strung up," she said.

"To do something like that after what we went through at Christmas time for selfish gains? Unbelievable."

Stewart says she had bread ready to go into the oven on Saturday morning as the village prepared for a busy day but with no power she couldn't bake it.

"We were looking forward to this weekend being the weekend when we caught up on the rent, and with six hours of no power, nobody came."

Harvey Winter Carnival chair Dan Fletcher says the committee had no choice but to cancel the community fundraiser.

"It was just so frustrating after this community had been through probably four to five days of no power over the Christmas holidays and had been through massive issues with fire departments having to provide services for homes that did not have heating," Fletcher said.

"It was not something that the community was prepared to face so quickly after such a short period of time."

Police area asking anyone with any information about the break and enter and theft to contact them.

RCMP are also reminding people that tampering with equipment in and around power substations is extremely dangerous.

One person was electrocuted and died in 2007 while attempting to steal copper from a power substation. Others have been seriously burned.