CONCORD (KCBS) – Concord officials are looking to stop copper thieves from striking in the city when it can least afford it.

Like other cities in the state, Concord is struggling with a budget that will now be without state redevelopment funds.

Concord Mayor Ron Leone said copper thieves have been targeting street lights and irrigation control systems.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“It’s all over the place. They’re even stealing catalytic converters from cars,” Leone said. “It may cost you $500-1,000 to replace it and they’re only going to get maybe $15 worth of metal.”

Leone said the city has already paid out nearly $400,000 in replacement and repair costs. He said he and other city officials are doing everything they can to stop the problem from growing.

“Part of it is awareness. Another part of it is working with the recyclers,” said Leone.

He is also asking residents to be on the lookout for copper wire thieves as service requests to repair city-owned lights are backing up due to the frequency of thefts.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)