Surge in copper wire thefts

Posted at: 12/05/2012 9:32 PM
Updated at: 12/05/2012 10:08 PM
By: Joe Vigil, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Two to three times a week, Albuquerque police said they're getting calls about copper wire thefts around the city.

Police said that's a lot of cases right now. The thefts are costing business owners big bucks. In some cases police say damage is running at $40,000 or more.

Thieves yanked some copper wire out of a business near Morris and Montgomery early Monday morning. KOB Eyewitness News 4 was told thieves are getting into utility boxes that are not very secure.

PNM officials told KOB the company is working closely with customers and police on improved security measures. Police said alarms can be placed around utility boxes and people can use cameras and motion detectors.

Business owners and employees may be the first ones to discover the theft of copper wire.  PNM officials said those who make the discovery should not get close to where the wire is cut because they could get shocked even if they're not standing right next to where the theft happened.