Largest Copper Wire Theft Reported In Norman History
NORMAN, Oklahoma - Officials say it's the largest copper wire theft the city of Norman has ever reported.
Thieves ripped out the insides of street lamps along I-35 and Tecumseh road, causing great concern for drivers.
Thieves covered about two and a half miles, ripping wire from street lights, even out of the ground.
“This is the first for the City of Norman of this magnitude. February 20th, about 6:50 in the morning, we noticed we had some issues with the street lighting in that area,” says Supervisor of Public Works Brian McNabb.
But the window for this crime, also includes the previous weekend. Staff say someone simply noticed it this past Tuesday.
Police add the thief or thieves, still haven't been caught.
Crews say they think they were scared off, leaving ripped wires and copper on the ground.
“They gained access to the street lighting poles through the access cover door, that's found at the bottom of each pole,” McNabb says.
The value for the amount of copper stolen is still unknown.
Investigators say there are only a few shops locally who recycle that type of product, and think the biggest break in case could come from a witness.
“There was a pretty significant area impacted so, when we start looking into the areas that were impacted and any neighboring businesses. We are really just looking for any information,” says Public Information Officer Sarah Jensen.
It's been years since Norman has been hit with this kind of crime, and officials say while it's hard to stomach, repairs are a high priority.
It impacts a number of roads in the area.
“The interchange of I-35 and Tecumseh is now extremely dark, is also impacted the traffic lighting and street lighting along Tecumseh road between the east side of I-35 and 36th avenue northwest,” says McNabb.
Crews say it'll take up to two weeks to restore power in the area.
There has not yet been a total released in regard to damages.