Copper Thieves Strike Again - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Copper Thieves Strike Again

Jason Conrad Jason Conrad
The H-1 freeway near Makakilo is now dark after thieves stole the wiring from the lights The H-1 freeway near Makakilo is now dark after thieves stole the wiring from the lights
Thieves pried off the access panel to this light in order to steal the copper wiring inside Thieves pried off the access panel to this light in order to steal the copper wiring inside

By : Joann Shin

(KHNL) - Car headlights light up this dark section of the H-1 freeway.

"It's spooky. You can't see in front of you especially when there's no other traffic late at night, that's when it gets really dangerous," said Kathy Campos, who lives in Ewa Beach.

16 lights are out along a 2 1/2 mile stretch from Kunia to Makakilo.

Over the weekend, thieves dug up the copper wiring connected to the lights, knocking out power.

State transportation officials thieves may be getting away with the crime, because this stretch of highway is in a remote area. Also police believe the thieves are wearing orange vests and posing as state road maintenance crews.

Transportation officials say it could cost close to $100,000 just to repair this section.

Campos said, "I know copper is worth a lot of money. When you take stuff you're stealing from the community, you're stealing from yourself."

Jason Conrad, a Makakilo resident said, "It angers me, because we have to pay out of our own pockets."

Across the highway, lights are also out on the town-bound side.

Thieves hit that area a few months ago.

The state won't restore the wiring, until they find a better way to secure the area.

"If you have flat tire right on that stretch of the road, people will come right up on you, they can't see you from a distance, " explained Campos.

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