Crosstown copper caper: Crooks target light poles in downtown OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s lights out for some drivers in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City police are investigating an alleged copper caper near the downtown Crosstown area.

Authorities say thieves ripped out the copper lines to dozens, maybe even hundreds, of light poles.

It happened along the brand-new Crosstown Blvd., as well as along the I-40 Service Rd. near Agnew.

The boulevard was just recently opened, so it’s not that heavily traveled.

That gave the thieves enough time to steal copper from numerous light poles, stretching for three miles, without being caught.

“This is the largest light pole wire theft I’ve seen,” said Det. Sgt. Jeff White, with the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Police say the size of the crime is unusual.

“This is a large number of thefts from utility poles. We don’t see it often,” said Capt. Dexter Nelson, with the Oklahoma City Police Department.

It also poses multiple dangers to public safety.

“These lights are here for a reason, they are important for public safety,” said White.

“They leave a significant hazard with live wires coming out of the ground,” said Nelson.

To prevent similar crimes, police say anyone who sees someone unofficial tampering with city light poles should call police.

“Better safe than sorry. We as taxpayers end up paying for it,” said White.

Police have alerted local metal dealers to be on the lookout, saying it is illegal for dealers to buy the stolen wire.

So far, no arrests have been made in the case.