Scrap metal theft is a real problem in Oklahoma, especially with thieves stealing copper from streetlights.
Even News 9’s Aaron Brilbeck caught a couple not just stealing the copper, but they were taking the whole 30-foot highway light pole.
"I'm with Channel 9. What are you guys doing?” Aaron asked as he approached the couple trying to load the pole on to a flat bed trailer.
“Picking up scrap metal,” James Holzman, of Chocktaw, said. “This pole has been knocked down two years. I've reported it to OG&E 30 times and the city.”
The pole weighs hundreds of pounds, and the couple struggled to load it on to their trailer.
"That's not your pole though. You can't take that,” Aaron said.
“If they want it, I'll tell them who's got it,” Holzman said.
The pole was laying in the grass near the Interstate 35 / Interstate 240 exit.
While News 9 was talking to Holzman, firefighters pulled up. They were afraid Holzman had been in an accident, but he ignored them.
“I've already contacted the traffic department,” Holzman said, insisting he was told he could take the pole and scrap it.
News 9 reached out to ODOT but they were closed Friday.
“OK, I'm going to take it and tell them I've got it. If they want it back, I'll bring it to them," Holzman said.
A few minutes later, a state trooper pulled up and confirmed that Holzman can’t just take the pole.
"You can't, that's state property. You can't take that. Alright. Put that down," the trooper said.