Lamar Electric Cooperative is offering a $1,000 reward for anyone whose tip leads to the indictment of those responsible for a recent spate of copper thefts.
Thieves have made off with about seven miles of wire, worth about $20,000 to the company, according to spokesperson Dena Beason. M0st of the thefts occurred around Maxey and other areas west of Paris, she said.
Also, one botched effort resulted in some customers losing power last week, Beason said.
"We did have a small outage on June 23," Beason said. "Once the linemen were on the scene, they instantly knew it was from a copper theft because the wire cutters were still hanging on the wire. What had happened was that the tool they were using had broken and it caused the wire to bounce up into the main phase and it caused an outage."
Paris-based Lamar Electric Cooperative serves mostly rural customers in Delta, Lamar and Red River counties.
Copper thefts have risen in recent years, owing in part to the metal's increased value. Copper sold at around 80 cents per pound a decade ago, but today sells for over $3 per pound.