The Whatcom County Sheriff's office says it's been seeing a rise in thieves using a lift or bucket truck to cut electrical wire from live circuits on power poles.

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The Whatcom County Sheriff’s office says it’s been seeing a rise in thieves using a lift or bucket truck to cut electrical wire from live circuits on power poles.

KOMO News reports ( http://is.gd/XdhZvg) that so far $100,000 worth of copper wire has been stolen.

Undersheriff Jeff Parks says the practice not only endangers the thieves but the public as well, especially in cases where live lines are left dangling. The thefts can also cause power outages and possibly fires.

Puget Sound Energy reports the thefts began in Whatcom County about two months ago.

Parks says it appears the suspects are using lift equipment or possibly a “bucket truck” to access live power lines, cutting whole spans of lines between power poles to steal the valuable metal they are made of.