LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Thieves have stripped copper wire from roughly 20 freeway light poles near the downtown Spaghetti Bowl interchange corridor.
Tony Illia, a spokesperson with the Nevada Department of Transportation, says the team is working on getting the lights activated but estimates it would take $140,000 worth of material and labor replacement costs.
NDOT said the price of copper is $3.22 per pound, up 51 percent from $2.13 per pound five years ago, and criminals have become brazen in their schemes.
Burglars have used power tools and spools to steal wiring on a commercial scale, fencing the stolen cache across the border, according to NDOT.
The transportation department says it is undertaking the appropriate theft deterrent measures and working to have the lights operational again by Nov. 24.
Meanwhile, officials advised motorists to use caution when traveling through the Spaghetti Bowl corridor at night while the replacement work continues.