The prosecutor had sought 90 days in jail. But the judge said Michael Carsten, 27, should get on with his life and sentenced him Tuesday to a one-year conditional discharge, plus a fine and restitution.
Spokesman Aaron Donovan said the copper theft caused nearly 10 cancellations during the morning rush.
Detective Capt. Robert Rowan of the Clifton Police Department says holes were cut in the fence at the PSE&G plant on Thanksgiving and several large sections of copper wire were take from 10-foot-tall spools.