LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It's a dangerous and expensive crime, and investigators say it leaves taxpayers footing the bill.
For the second time in last few months, copper thieves have damaged light poles along Interstate 75 in Lexington.
In the daylight, they may be an afterthought lining the side of I-75, but when the sun is down, drivers were sure to notice stretches of lights shut off.
"(There were) About 20-25 luminaires that were extinguished, and they were not in a row. They were in separate spots, so you might be driving where it was visible and good lighting, and then you would come into a dark area," Natasha Lacy, of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, says.
The lights went off, thanks to some thieves looking to make a quick buck around mile-marker 118.
"Because the wire is underground, that creates a lot of damage," Lacy says.
The lights have been fixed, but the problem may not be, as this is something that's come up before.
"It's a major problem that we have dealt with it several times, previously. We are not the only state or the only county that deals with this," Lacy says.
Back in March another set of lights were stripped of the wiring just a few miles from this recent setback.
The transportation cabinet is doing it's part..
"We do have cameras and monitoring devices," Lacy says.
But now they need your help.
"We also are asking for the public's help with just seeing suspicious behavior and reporting that to law enforcement," Lacy says.
The lights may be an afterthought but they are your tax dollars at work.
The Transportation Cabinet says any activity after 5:00 p.m. is a good sign of something suspicious, especially if the vehicles doing the work are not marked with official logos.