SPOKANE, Wash. -- Power company officials say thieves in northern Idaho and eastern Washington state are still targeting copper wire for the scrap market despite lower metal prices and electrocution risks.
Officials tell other media outlets that thieves cause higher electricity bills for customers and endanger the public by leaving live wires.
Shawn Dolan of Kootenai Electric Cooperative in northern Idaho says thieves aren't getting much money compared to the amount of damage they're doing.
Dan Kolbet of Avista Utilities says thieves have cut down live lines and climbed substation fences to steal equipment that could kill them if they cut the wrong wire.
Jim Schrock of Earthworks Recycling in Spokane tells other outlets he pays about $2.75 a pound for good copper, down from $3.30 two years ago.