FARMINGTON -- A string of copper wire thefts along the Legacy Parkway has the Utah Department of Transportation asking for the public's help.
Due to an increase in copper wire theft from highway lighting, freeway cameras, and message signs, UDOT is asking for the public to report any suspicious night-time activity around those facilities.
UDOT spokeswoman Tonia Mashburn said since October 2009, UDOT has dealt with more than 20 incidents of copper wire theft.
She said the thefts have cost more than $213,000 to replace and repair the areas that have been hit.
Many of the thefts have occurred along the Legacy corridor, but other roadways like Interstates 215 and 80 have also been targeted by thieves.
Mashburn said most of the thefts have happened on the parkway's lighting units.
"There's kind of an underground box where this wire is," she said. "And they are coming and cutting into it during the day and then coming back at night to get it. They steal it and then they take it to the salvage yard and get paid for it."
Mashburn said the state has taken preventative measures to stop the thefts, but it continues to be a problem.
"We've obviously been working with local law authorities and we've been filling the boxes with gravel and cement and using stronger bolts," she said. "But there is only so much we can do."
The state is also concerned about the fact the wire thieves are at serious risk of injury.
"It's definitely not safe," Mashburn said. "These wires that they are taking are 480 volts, so it's about four times more powerful than your home socket. Someone could be seriously injured."
Mashburn said if the public sees any suspicious activity they should call 911 to report it immediately.
"We just want it to stop," she said. "It has already cost tax payers over $200,000 and that's too much."