Copper Stolen from City Streetlights

By day a streetlight doesn't do drivers much good. The light they shine is much more useful at night.

And what keeps them lit, for some, is worth even more.

"People are doing whatever they can to get by, including stealing,” said Springs Utilities energy manager Tim Hodges.

The lights should have at least three more years of life before needing any work.

That is, before someone started at one end of Powers near Union and cut, pried, and stripped 33 poles of their copper wire and walked away.

"They see copper and then say, okay," Hodges said.

The quarter inch wire they took doesn't look like much, but thousands of feet at nearly a dollar a foot, even sold as scrap, will fetch a good price in a market desperate for copper.

"If they get $3,000 for it, that's easy money," said Hodges.

But it's money that comes with a tremendous risk.

"We've seen news releases of thieves being electrocuted to death," Hodges said.

Nearly a mile of Powers will be dark from sundown to sunrise as crews work to repair the damages done by sophisticated thieves.

Crews will start work early next week, and hope to be done in about four days.

Utilities managers ask drivers and residents nearby to call police if they noticed anyone not with CSU pulling wire from the poles.

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  • by Stacy Location: Colorado Springs on May 9, 2007 at 09:57 AM
    perhaps they had no choice but to steal the copper after seeing their winter utility bills. At least Utilities can now know what it feels like to be ripped off instead of just ripping people off.
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