Copper wire thieves steal from lightpoles, cause $1 Million in damages and endanger drivers in Southwest Washington

Thieves are putting your safety at risk by stealing copper wire from equipment on state roads in Southwest Washington.

The most recent thefts were first reported by the Columbian.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) told KATU copper wire thefts cost the state about $1 million over the past two years and $70 thousand in Southwest Washington alone.

You may not notice them, but when you’re driving on state roads in Washington, critical equipment above helps keep you safe.

“There’s the lights, there’s traffic cameras so we can see if there’s an incident,” said Bart Treece, WSDOT spokesman. “We can help first responders get there.”

Treece said the cameras are also available to drivers so they can plan their routes and see if there’s any trouble to avoid.

“We depend on those types of tools and so do drivers,” Treece said.

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