Copper Wire Theft
Street Lights Being Targeted
The theft of copper wire and other metals such as aluminum and brass has grown to epidemic proportions nationally. In Santa Rosa the copper wire in our public street lighting system is being targeted by thieves. We believe thieves to be disguising themselves as construction crews or working in the middle of the night.
Street lights on sections of Fountaingrove Parkway, Altruria Drive, Thomas Lake Harris Drive and Occidental Road are currently not operating due to copper wire theft. The City of Santa Rosa has a project in place to install a more theft-resistant system and reactivate these street lights, but the truth is that these thefts continue to happen throughout the City and we need your help. If you see any suspicious activity near street lights or City facilities, please call 911 to report the activity.
The negative impacts from these thefts are significant. Not only does the City need to purchase additional copper wire to replace what was stolen, but often there are large costs associated with repairing equipment damaged during the theft. Thieves can do thousands of dollars' worth of damage just to get away with $20 worth of copper wire.
Financial Burden of Theft
Wouldn't you rather see these tax dollars applied towards improved roadways, or park facilities, than towards repairing damage caused by thieves? In 2010, a report published by the Department of Energy found that 95% of cities and public utilities had experienced copper wire theft and estimated the national cost at over $85 million dollars. These costs include replacing the stolen wire, equipment damage, labor costs to repair/replace, and power outage costs.
Thieves put themselves and others in danger by stealing copper wire. Exposed wires left behind by thieves can cause fires and explosions, and can result in fatalities and injuries. Stay clear of and do not touch exposed wires near the base of a street light. Please call 911 if you see power lines lying on the ground or open / damaged electrical boxes.
Help protect your community assets by reporting any suspicious activity near street lights or City facilities.
You Can Help
Report any suspicious activity near street lights or City facilities. City crews and contractors use trucks and equipment that are clearly identifiable with logos. Our crews wear reflective clothing and hard hats and seldom work at night. Work zones should be clearly marked.
If you have any information about stolen copper wire, please report it to the Police Department at 707-528-5222. If you suspect a wire theft in progress, please call 911 to report the activity.