KOMO News reported that so far $100,000 worth of copper wire has been stolen.
Undersheriff Jeff Parks said the practice not only endangers the thieves but the public as well, especially in cases where live lines are left dangling. The thefts can also cause power outages and possibly fires.
Puget Sound Energy reported that the thefts began in Whatcom County about two months ago.
Parks said it appears the suspects are using lift equipment or possibly a bucket truck to access live power lines, cutting whole spans of lines between power poles to steal the valuable metal they are made of.
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