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Sept. 7, 2009

MESA, Ariz. – In the city of Mesa, thieves are risking their lives to get their goods.

“This is a very deadly game these people are playing,” said Michael Mason, a street light foreman in Mesa.

We haven’t heard much in the media lately about copper theft, but Phoenix Police Sergeant Darren Burch says that doesn’t mean it isn’t still happening.

“Mainly in street lights,” said Burch. “But in any place where there’s electric wire and so-forth is targeted.”

Mason says it’s costing residents of Mesa tens of thousands of dollars.

“In the fiscal year of ’08-’09, $150 thousand in damage to replace wires that were stolen and/or equipment that was damaged,” said Mason. “Right now since July 1, 2009, our losses and damages due to stolen wiring has exceeded $61 thousand dollars.”

And the thieves aren’t only risking their own lives.

“When you do steal the wiring and knock the lights out you are placing other drivers and pedestrians in danger, said Mason. “And probably first and foremost, if you are inept about going about stealing this wire, there is a very good chance you will be injured severely or killed.

Anyone with information that will help catch copper thieves is asked to call Silent Witness at 480-Witness.