Man arrested in connection with damage to electrical substation

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The Upshur County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the September 1, 2021 damage to an Upshur Rural Electric Cooperative substation has resulted in the arrest of one person and a warrant being issued for another.

On September 1, 2021, Upshur County Deputies responded to the Upshur Rural Electric substation on Bluebird Road for a reported fire.

At the location deputies discovered that actors had cut copper wiring at the facility. This led to overheating of instruments and an eventual fire, causing serious damage to the substation and causing power outage to several thousand locations.

Deputies also discovered evidence of recent damage to an abandoned well-site that is immediately east of the substation, owned by Centerpoint Energy.

During the course of this investigation, it became known that the same actors were involved in oil well site thefts in the Gregg County area.

Upshur County investigators, along with investigators from the Gregg County Sheriff’s Office, Longview Police Department, Texas Game Wardens, and The Gregg County Organized Drug Enforcement Unit all worked together during the investigation and apprehension in this case.

The investigation lead to the arrest of Christopher Dean Robertson, 34 years of age, of Gilmer on the charge of Criminal Mischief over 30,000 dollars under 150,000 dollars, a third degree felony, in relation to the Upshur Rural Electric Cooperative Substation. Bond was set at $100,000 dollars for this charge by Justice of the Peace Betterton.

In addition to this charge, Robertson is charged with 9 counts of Tampering with Oil/Gas Rigs To Limit Control/Operation, 3rd Degree Felony, stemming from thefts and damage to oil well locations in Gregg County (Bonds set at 10,000 dollars for each count by Judge Betterton) and an Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle charge (State Jail Felony, bond set at 100,000 dollars by Justice of the Peace Potter) stemming from his use of a stolen vehicle in the course of several of this incidents.

Robertson is currently housed at the Upshur County Jail.

An arrest warrant has also been issued for Christopher Richard Corbett, 35 years of age, of White Oak, for Criminal Mischief over 30,000/under 150,000 dollars, for his role in the September 1 damage to the Upshur Rural Electric Cooperative substation.

Sheriff Webb wishes to thank all involved agencies and personnel who helped make this case successful. This was a true team effort among several agencies.

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