Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan:
Overhead lines that return unused power to Avista have been targeted by metal thieves since late August, a company employee reported Monday.
Since Aug. 22, a suspect has stolen more than one and a half miles of #6 copper for a loss exceeding $18,000. The company has been replacing the stolen copper lines with aluminum wire which is less expensive.
The employee said the return cable is the lower of the two lines on the power poles and that the suspect pulls the line down and then cuts it closest to the pole.
The thefts are risky business. Although the line is usually not powered, it can be at any time and the thief would have no way of knowing if it is charged or not.
The most recent theft occurred Monday in the 20600 block of North Hazard Road. Crews had just replaced the line at midnight and it was discovered missing again at 6 a.m.
Anyone with information regarding these thefts is encouraged to call Crime Check at 456-2233.