Thieves steal 2,500 feet of copper wiring
Approximately 2,500 feet of copper wiring was found stolen Tuesday from light posts and electrical junction boxes along the east and westbound exit ramps of the Tollgate/Promontory exit on Interstate 80.
An employee with the Utah Department of Transportation reported that the wiring had been stolen but that there were no suspects or time frame for when it was stolen, according to a report from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
The estimated value of the stolen copper wiring is believed to be about $6,000, and the repair costs to replace the wiring are approximately $12,000. Summit County Sheriff’s Capt. Justin Martinez said the suspects had cut the power to the poles and junction boxes before stripping the wiring out.
"This was a pretty brazen theft of copper wiring," Martinez said. "Usually a thief will go to a house under construction and steal [the wiring] just off of the spool."
According to the report, the UDOT employee also discovered piping underneath both sides of the overpass that was broken into and stripped of its wiring. Martinez said the Sheriff’s Office is looking to see if there were UDOT cameras in the area to see if they can identify suspects.
Martinez added that stealing copper wiring from out of an electrical box is quite risky, and he believes the suspect or suspects were familiar with electrical systems.
"I would not personally trust myself enough to shut down the power and feel confident that the power was cut off entirely," Martinez said. "That leads me to believe that someone who had electrical knowledge was involved."
Since so much tampering had occurred with the light posts and junction boxes, Martinez is hopeful that they can find some trace evidence of the suspects at the site.
The case is still under investigation at this point. If anyone has any information on this incident, they can call the Summit County Sheriff’s Office at 435-615-3600.
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Park City Fire District Chief Paul Hewitt died Friday from injuries sustained in an off-duty accident earlier in the week, the agency announced.