Voice of Nancy Albright: We conservatively estimate that the crime of stealing copper wire from highway lighting systems has cost taxpayers at least $2 million in damage in the last four years. In 2014 alone, thieves have struck at least 37 times along our right of way. As you can see from the map beside me, there’s a pattern to these crimes. They pretty much follow the interstates and specifically the interchanges. Let me also say this is a safety issue. Highway lights are out there for a reason. They make a big difference when you’re trying to navigate an interstate interchange at night — particularly in a place you’re not familiar with. So the vandalism of these lights carries a potential for damage beyond the millions of dollars that Kentucky’s drivers are paying for repair and replacements. We seek the assistance of the public and the metal recycling industry in helping us catch those who commit this particular type of crime.
Voice of Mike Duncan: We’ve asked that they be vigilant and suspicious of any activity on those ramps, whether it’s a pickup truck, an SUV, maybe a box-type truck out there — a van. Our people will have a marked vehicle generally. There will be lights there. They’ll be attired with hi-vis clothing. There usually will be some sort of traffic control — cones — that sort of thing. They do work in the evening hours, but not in the wee morning hours.