Hundreds of residents in Pickering were without power for about five hours Saturday night after an alleged copper thief electrocuted himself.

George Armstrong, an employee with Veridian Electric, said about 600 people living in the Greenwood community were without power.

When officials with the company went to investigate, they found a man dead at the scene.

The man, whose name hasn't been released, was zapped by 44,000 volts of electricity. He was in a fenced off, secure area.

Armstrong said it's not uncommon for people to steal copper and aluminum wire because of the soaring price of scrap metal.

This latest incident comes just days after a propane explosion flattened three townhouses in Brampton.

In that case, fire officials suspected a man was trying to remove brass from a propane tank to sell afterwards.