La Plata Electric Association is asking residents to be on the lookout for anyone stealing copper wire.
The metal can fetch a high dollar, so thieves steal it from electric substations, railroad signal lines and construction sites to sell, sometimes on the black market.
A theft occurred overnight Sunday at BC Fabrication, a business in Bayfield, according to a news release from LPEA. The thieves took about 20 feet of copper wire.
“The thieves cut into the live conduit and it burned up part of the equipment, but that didn’t stop them,” said Steve Gregg, LPEA manager of operations. “They were determined to get the wires.”
Utility trucks are well-marked, and workers carry identification, Gregg said.
If residents see suspicious activity around utility boxes, they are asked to call 911.