NEWBERRY SPRINGS - About 600 Newberry Springs residents went without electricity for most of Thursday after someone cut down a power pole.

According to a report from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, someone took a chainsaw to a Southern California Edison power pole on the 47000 block of Cottonwood Road and cut it down early Thursday morning. The downed pole dropped power to 595 Edison customers in the area, said Nancy Jackson, a spokeswoman for Edison. Reports of outages first came in around 8 a.m., she said. Edison restored power to the area around 3:30 that afternoon.

The sheriff's report initially list the cost of the outage, including clean-up, at $40,000, but Jackson said she does not know what the final amount will be.

"It's too early to tell what that kind of outage would have cost us," she said.

Nothing was reported missing from the site, leaving sheriff's deputies and Jackson to wonder what the person or people who cut the pole were after. Jackson said the wire running across the pole did not have any copper in them. Copper has been a target for thieves who look to recycle it and make a quick buck. The lines were live and could have killed someone, Jackson said.

"I think sometimes people forget the nature of this commodity," she said. "It's really very dangerous."

Deputies from the Barstow station are investigating. Anyone with information can contact the station at 256-4838. People with information that wish to remain anonymous can call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME or leave information on the WeTip Web site at www.wetip.com.

Contact the writer: (760) 256-4121 or aaron_aupperlee@link.freedom.com