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Thieves swipe copper from fwy. lights

March 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Copper thieves are causing hazards on our freeways in a way that might surprise you.The lights in some freeway exit signs are out making them almost impossible to see at night. Caltrans says it's the work of thieves. They come by in the daytime, cut the power to lights while the light is off, then come back at night and pull all the copper wire out.

For thieves looking to cash in, the wire is as good as gold.

"Price of copper has been steadily going up. I think it's up around $3 a pound now, so that's made stealing this wire a little more worthwhile endeavor," said Dan Freeman of Caltrans.

Caltrans says they've tried to put security measures in place to make it harder for thieves, but so far it hasn't worked. Every time they have to fix a sign, it's about $22,000.


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