TEMPE, Ariz. -- Authorities in Tempe say 32 light poles have been stripped of their copper wiring near the Town Lake Marina.
A city electrician notified police of the missing wiring Wednesday morning.
Police believe the criminal damage and theft occurred sometime between last Sunday night and Wednesday morning.
Material damages and replacement are estimated at about $15,000.
Police are searching for suspects in the theft case.
Police said people visiting the marina or walking along the north side of the lake just east of the Mill Avenue bridge may have seen the thieves but didn't realize a crime was taking place.
Detectives work closely with salvage yard management and with neighboring law enforcement agencies in these cases, as traffickers in illegally obtained metals often move back and forth across municipal boundaries, according to police.
Anyone with information is asked to call Tempe police at 480-350-8311. To report a crime in progress, call 911.