Baytown police: Copper thieves lurking, working

The City of Baytown is asking motorists to be on the lookout for suspicious activity involving criminals posing as repair crews while stealing copper wiring from street lights. Copper thieves recently hit at least 42 streetlights on I-10 (between FM 2100 and Hwy 146).
Authorities believe the thieves used vehicles and equipment that made them look like repairmen working on the lights.
“The city maintains the lights, and it would be pretty unusual for our crews to be working on the lights at night,” said Public Works Director Darryl Fourte. “Streetlight repairs are typically done during daylight hours.”

City officials are asking area residents to help. “If you see someone working on the lights at night, even if they appear to be in a legitimate work vehicle, call the police,” said Public Affairs Coordinator Patti Jett. “We’ll send an officer to check out the situation.”
Jett added that motorists should not stop at the location, but should call 911 and allow an officer to investigate the situation.
Not only does this theft create a safety-hazard to motorists by disabling lights, it also places a significant financial burden on the City and tax payers, as repairs to the lights are expensive in both dollars and man-power. Damages in the recent theft are believed to be in excess of $50,000.
Anyone who might have information in regards to these thefts is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 281-427-8477 (TIPS), or text to 274637; text “Baytown” plus the message. All tips are anonymous and Crime Stoppers pays up to $2,000 for information that leads to a felony arrest.