Overhead lines that return unused power to Avista have been targeted by metal thieves since late August, according to a company employee.
Since Aug. 22, a suspect has stolen more than 1.5 miles of No. 6 copper for a loss exceeding $18,000. The company has been replacing the stolen copper lines with aluminum wire, which is less expensive.
The most recent theft occurred on Sept. 12 on North Hazard Road. Crews had just replaced the line at midnight and it was discovered missing again at 6 a.m.