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Resourceful thieves may have used a lifting platform or cherry picker to access an overhead cable and steal the copper wire inside.

Representatives from Lumen Technologies and CenturyLink say the damage is part of a recent spike in copper wire thefts in the Eugene, Oregon, area. There have been more than 30 copper wire thefts there in the past two weeks.

Such thefts can damage emergency call systems and prevent people from reaching emergency services.

Officials say thieves’ tactics have become more inventive as the price of copper has risen dramatically in recent years, with some crooks even climbing poles to steal the cables.

Repairing the damage caused by thefts costs hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

There have also been numerous such thefts in Western Washington over the years and recently.

In May, we spoke with a homeowner in Maple Valley who has a CenturyLink line on his property and who has been the victim of two thieves’ strikes.

Due to the damage, some customers were no longer able to communicate because their mobile phone reception was either poor or non-existent.

In Sumner earlier this year, the cables at newly installed electric vehicle charging stations were cut twice within a month to access the valuable copper wires inside.

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