JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A thief is still on the loose.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation along with the Hinds County Sheriff’s office are looking for a copper thief.
MDOT Commissioner Dick Hall says one of their crews came across a man in the process of digging up wires near an interstate electrical pole.
“I want to call on the public to start watching for this. If you see somebody out there digging a hole next to an interstate light pole and there’s not an MDOT vehicle around, call the police," says Hall.
“And also, besides the money, it’s been costing the tax payer. It’s a safety issue. The light’s are going out. I mean those lights are there for safety, so this has become what was little bit of a nuisance, its becoming a real problem now.”
When the man saw MDOT, he ran into the woods, escaping authorities. MDOT says he dug up three rows of copper, which is around $10,000 worth of wire.
Dick Hall says copper theft is a "100 thousand dollar problem."
MDOT says taking copper is felony and they plan to prosecute anyone who does so.
Hall says MDOT is watching for future would-be thieves and is advising the public to do so as well.
“One of our employees today saw the guy doing this, and he knew what to look for. But I’m just advising the public what to look for. You see a guy out there looking strange, digging a hole, and pulling wire, call the police,” said Hall.