Drivers Left in the Dark after Copper Thieves Stripped Wires

Glenn Hamamura
Glenn Hamamura

OAHU (KHNL) -- Drivers on the H2 Freeway are left in the dark after copper thieves strike again along the major Oahu road.

Copper thieves had already stripped the wires from northbound poles for miles at a stretch.

Now nearly two dozen townbound poles have been disconnected near the Ka Uka Boulevard.

The wires were pulled from junction boxes, the insulation stripped off and left on the ground last week, while thieves made off with miles of costly copper wire.

"You're talking about 2,400 feet of #2 copper wire, the replacement cost would be $96,000 just for the copper wire," said Glenn Hamamura, a highway lighting worker.

Add in the cost for workers to rewire the highway lights and this theft could cost the state and the public, hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But because of the continuing thefts, maintenance workers will not replace the copper wire. Instead they are waiting for a solution to stop thieves from taking it in the first place.

That means drivers will be left in the dark along the H2 Freeway for many months to come.