COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– Police in Colorado Springs say thieves are stealing copper wire from street lights around the city. The cost of replacing that wire is passed on to taxpayers.

There have been more than a dozen times over the last month.

Officers have arrested two suspects so far but say more arrests are likely.

Springs Utilities says it will cost $150,000 to make the repairs to street lights and it will come from taxpayers.

Thieves cut copper wire from street lights (credit: CBS)

Thieves cut copper wire from street lights (credit: CBS)

“[Copper thieves] kinda crash the lids on the street lights, and they cut everything in the clear with some type of a cutter,” said Robert Olson, a streetlight supervisor with Springs Utilities. “Then it looks like they tie things up to their vehicle and drive off with it.”

Olson says more than 40 street lights with 18,000 feet of copper have been targeted.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“We usually get a report from the public that a string of lights are out and we go investigate or we have first responders, our troubleshooters, who also respond to the public,” said Olson.

The estimated cost to replace those street lights is about $5 a foot when considering copper and labor costs.

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