Any type of theft is wrong, no matter how small or how large.

Those who commit theft are criminals and in some cases they either don’t know or don’t care about the emotional and financial consequences they are inflicting on their victims.

It’s a common occurrence in our city, as well in every city in this country. There is no way to stop it, but those who commit theft can and should be arrested and jailed for as long as the law allows. 

Some who steal might try to use the excuse that they are poor or have fallen on hard times.

This is pure baloney. No one forces someone to steal. We all have choices, and those who steal make the wrong choice.

Although it hasn’t hit our city extremely hard yet, it appears the latest object that people are stealing is copper, which one can sell for a pretty good chunk of change depending on the amount.

Metal theft has been a statewide problem for several years, with many contractors fighting the issue at construction sites and property owners coming home to find their heating and cooling systems ripped apart. Because of these misguided and selfish actions, thousands of dollars worth of damage is caused when the wiring is removed.

One of the big items thieves have been stealing is copper from highway lights. From Jan. 1 through Oct. 23, copper thieves have stripped the wires from 37 highway entrance or exit ramps, mostly around the Louisville and Lexington areas. The problem also exists in eastern and southeastern Kentucky for power lines, telephone lines and homes under construction. 

It is estimated that stealing copper from these lights has cost the taxpayers of this state over $2 million in the past four years. The problem has gotten so bad that the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is offering up to a $2,500 reward paid by the KYTC maintenance funds for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the copper wire thefts from highway lights. They also have made a public appeal to metal recyclers for assistance in identifying anyone trying to sell stolen copper.

Not only are these criminals costing taxpayers millions of dollars, they are causing a public safety issue with their illegal actions.

When stripping copper from lights on interstate entrance and exit ramps, they are making these roads much darker at night when motorists need these lights to help guide them on and off the interstates or parkways.

You have to wonder how these thieves would feel if their actions resulted in one of their loved ones or friends being hurt or even killed because of low lighting on these roadways.

Given the person or persons who commit these types of crimes, it’s hard to tell, but we would hope that it would make them feel pretty horrible if someone they cared about was hurt or killed because of their thefts.

Perhaps this would make them think twice about what they are doing and cause them to cease and desist these illegal actions immediately.

If not, they deserve whatever consequences they will face for their actions when they are apprehended and convicted.

— Anyone who observes someone looking suspicious around a highway light is urged to call the KSP Hotline at 1-800-222-555, Investigator Chuck Hines, KYTC Office of Inspector General at 1-502-330-0441.


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