Tab for copper theft from city street lights hits $16K in Feb. - Albuquerque Journal

Tab for copper theft from city street lights hits $16K in Feb.

Thousands of dollars were lost to copper theft from street lights citywide in February, adding up to nearly $1 million in losses in the past two years.

In response to the ongoing issue, Mayor Tim Keller is working with lighting contractor Citelum and the Department of Municipal Development to take the incentive away from thieves by replacing the wiring with much less lucrative aluminum.

“Not only is copper wire theft a burden on our taxpayers, lighting outages make pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike less safe,” Keller said in a news release. “We are taking proactive measures to fight copper theft and keep our streets well-lit for our community.”

The city logged $16,000 in copper theft in February, accounting for 26% of all maintenance of street lights, according to the release. In two years, the total copper theft bill comes to more than $800,000.

Citelum is replacing copper wire with aluminum wiring, which is “far less valuable in resale and often not worth stealing,” according to the release. To discourage damage to the poles altogether, stickers will be added to poles with aluminum wiring so “would-be thieves” are aware that they are wasting their time.

“In some areas, the city is also spot welding streetlight doors closed, making theft a much more difficult endeavor,” the release states.

The city asks residents to call 242-COPS if they witness wire theft happening, and 311 to report broken or malfunctioning lights.

Home » News » Albuquerque News » Tab for copper theft from city street lights hits $16K in Feb.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Four VA clinics in New Mexico to remain open
ABQnews Seeker
State senators helped bipartisan group end ... State senators helped bipartisan group end the AIR commission
2
U.S. Marshals involved in shooting in Northeast Albuquerque
ABQnews Seeker
Agents with the U.S. Marshals Service ... Agents with the U.S. Marshals Service were involved in a shooting on Montgomery and San Mateo NE Monday night. Jim Glisson, a spokesman for ...
3
Motion: FBI seized phone from Trump campaign lawyer
ABQnews Seeker
The New Mexico man who played ... The New Mexico man who played a key role in trying to keep Donald Trump in office after he lost the presidential election in ...
4
Supreme Court backs coach in praying on field after ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Supreme Court said Monday that ... The Supreme Court said Monday that a high school football coach who knelt and prayed on the field after games was protected by the ...
5
APD investigating homicide in Nob Hill area
ABQnews Seeker
Police say the person was found ... Police say the person was found outside
6
More support sought for early childhood education
ABQnews Seeker
and during the COVID-19 pandemic, no ... and during the COVID-19 pandemic, no less — is no small task. That's why Melissa Martinez, a single mother of a 3-year-old son and ...
7
Sunday shooting deaths of husband, wife will be investigated ...
ABQnews Seeker
Son had been charged with killing ... Son had been charged with killing father; father suspected of killing wife
8
Freedom 4th celebration returns
ABQnews Seeker
Thanks to generous amounts of recent ... Thanks to generous amounts of recent rainfall, the grass is lush and green at Balloon Fiesta Park, just in time for the return of ...
9
Gov. appoints new IT secretary
ABQnews Seeker
Peter Mantos, who has had a ... Peter Mantos, who has had a 30-year career in software development and technical management, is joining Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's administration as secretary of ...