There were several arrests made in a string of copper thefts from interstate light poles in Jackson.
Eight people were busted in a joint operation involving Jackson police and MDOT.
The price tag is $340,000 thousand dollars to replace the stolen copper.
The suspects have not been identified.
“Right now the interstate was a crime of opportunity for them to be able to get the metal from the lights there and be able to find someone to sell it at a recycling location,” said Willie Huff, the director of MDOT’s law enforcement office.
Chief Huff has a warning to potential copper buyers.
“That state property belongs to everyone in Mississippi and when someone steals it then everyone in Mississippi pays for it but some folks are contributing to the problem by buying the stolen property and that’s something that people need to be aware of and understand is that if they don’t have a legitimate reason to have copper don’t buy it from them because more than likely it was stolen,” he said.
JPD were already investigating metal thefts.
“To be able to look into this specifically on this particular issue because it did overlap into the city of Jackson in some of the crimes they had , had,” Huff said.
In the end, According to Huff, it costs Mississippians.
“The extra burden to the taxpayer is that they’re continuing funding the wiring that’s being placed back into the lights that’s being stolen again so it’s a continual process of spending taxpayer money that should only be spent one time .”
MDOT will now have to bid contracts to replace the damaged light pole which could take a few months