JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Thieves have been leaving parts of Mississippi highways in the dark.
It all started back in July when an MDOT worker spotted a pickup truck with copper wire attached to the vehicle.
45-year-old Jerry Evans was eventually arrested and taken into custody with MULTIPLE charges.
MDOT’s Division of Enforcement Director Chief Willie Huff says it continues to be a major problem.
“Thieves have been pulling the wires out of the lights, stripping wires down and finding someone to sell the wire to a scrape metal buyer,” he revealed.
Chief Huff says more arrest have been made.
“We have made eight arrest with cooperation with JPD, JPD investigators, and MDOT enforcement officers. We conducted investigations and got eight people arrested in connection with those thefts.”
In the last few months, they have had over $300,000 in damage. Along with the steep cost, it also causes serious safety concerns for drivers.
As for when they will fix the lights? Chief Willie says that will have to wait.
“We are not going to put the lights back up until we try to catch all these people, because all we would be doing is providing them more stuff to steal.”
So if you see any unusual activity or a light out on the interstate, contact authorities immediately.
“We hope to get the lights back operating and keep the lights operating, but we need assistance from the public and the criminal justice system. We need more people to be aware and people to stop fronting money for stolen copper,” Chief Willie said.