Copper Wire Thieves Cost Blue City Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars: REPORT

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Lisa Moore Contributor
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The Twin Cities are facing costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars due to copper thieves targeting city street lamps, according to ABC 5.

Minneapolis and St. Paul streets are now reportedly lined with defunct lamps with wires ripped out of the posts, to the frustration and concern of residents.

The thefts have cost the city of Minneapolis $200,000 in 2023 alone, ABC 5 reported. Over 300 reports of street light outages remain unresolved, and the thefts are most common around the city’s major thoroughfares, according to the outlet.

In the Twin Cities area, several thousand posts have been damaged, and St. Paul has invested nearly $800,000 to make replacements and preventative measures, according to NBC 11. The thieves get away with $30 per lamp post for the copper, but the city pays about $2,500 to fully restore the post, KARE-TV reported. Several street lights have been out of service for months, West River Parkway residents in Minneapolis told ABC 5 Eyewitness News, noting how the longer nights in winter exacerbate the issue.

“It’s dangerous to drive, to walk, to bike, to push a stroller across the street,” St. Paul city council president Amy Brendmoen told NBC 11.

St. Paul authorities have attempted to use countermeasures such as metal bands around the light poles, alarms meant to notify law enforcement and materials which are not as valuable as copper, ABC 5 reported. St. Paul recently apportioned an additional $500,000 into the city’s 2024 budget in response to the copper wire theft, according to a separate report from ABC 5. RELATED: SUZANNE DOWNING: Will The Left Ever Allow Copper Mines In America?

Of the thefts, Brendmoen told NBC 11, “It feels pretty desperate, but I suppose when you go back again and again and keep collecting it over time it adds up.”