ANTIOCH (KCBS) – Copper wire continues to be snatched from the East Bay city of Antioch this year, and that’s translating into a big problem for Pacific Gas and Electric – considering how much the utility relies on the material.

Since the first of the year, 300 power poles have been knocked down in Antioch. The wiring contained on and within the poles was subsequently ripped off.

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KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Stealing copper wire is nothing new, but Antioch police describe the recent spate of incidents unusual.

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PG&E, meanwhile, maintains it takes $500 to repair a pole containing just dollars worth of copper.

Copper went for $1.25/lb in 2009, though the market price has since climbed to an estimated $4/lb.

Police have not identified any suspects.

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