CRIME
08/31/2011 01:19 pm ET Updated Oct 31, 2011

Copper Thieves Leave Florida Highway In The Dark (VIDEO)

One Florida highway needs the light of the law shone onto it - after thieves have rendered the street lights inoperable by stealing the copper wiring used to power them.

The criminals have targeted I-95 in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, and have reportedly removed 175,000 feet of copper wire from lights on that stretch of road.

As a result, motorists face a 33-mile stretch of dark road, and all the dangers that goes with that.

With the price of copper rising in recent months - (the wire can earn up to $3 per/lb) a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) spokesman seeing the thefts as a reflection of the bad economy. Lt. Tim Frith of the FHP told the Palm Beach Post "Obviously, the economy has driven this. It does present itself as a kind of crime of convenience."

Licensed electrician Derek Lawson told CBS Miami about the dangers involved in stealing wiring from the live lights.

“[Stealing the wire is] very dangerous, you can lose your life. One hit, you won’t hear a noise, you won’t hear anything, it’s over, good night, that’s it."

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel report that recyclers who buy metal in the state are required to photograph and take thumb prints from their customers before buying metals.

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