Thieves may have used bucket truck to reach overhead cable as copper wire thefts spike

EUGENE, Ore. — A lift or bucket truck may have been the way creative thieves were able to reach an overhead cable to steal the copper wire inside.

Officials with Lumen Technologies and CenturyLink say the damage is part of a recent spike in copper wire thefts in the Eugene, Ore., area. In the last two weeks, there’s been more than 30 copper wire thefts there.

Such thefts can damage 911 systems, keeping people from reaching emergency services.

Officials say tactics used by the thieves have become more imaginative as the price of copper went up dramatically in the last few years. Some crooks have even climbed poles to steal the wire.

The damage from the thefts costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair each year.

Over the years and recently, Western Washington has also had many such thefts.

In May, we spoke with a homeowner in Maple Valley who has a CenturyLink line on his property. Thieves have struck there twice.

The damage caused some customers’ ability to communicate to be cut off because their cell service is either poor or non-existent.

In Sumner earlier this year, cables on newly-installed electric vehicle charging stations were clipped two times within a month for the valuable copper wire inside.

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