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Walz, St. Paul leaders urge support for copper wire theft bill: 'We've got to get in front of it'

Copper wire thieves have broken air conditioning units, crippled vehicle-charging stations and dimmed thousands of street lights across St. Paul in recent years.

Such thefts cost the city $1.2 million to repair in 2023, and officials say the issue continues to endanger public safety. That's why Gov. Tim Walz joined city leaders Wednesday to publicly back a bill aiming to curb copper wire thefts across Minnesota.

Walz met St. Paul officials at Como Park to discuss the bill, leaning near one of 100 nearby light poles robbed of their copper wires. Thieves disabled hundreds more in the Como neighborhood, and Parks and Recreation Director Andy Rodriguez said 1,800 others across the city are out. Walz said the numbers are unacceptable, but he believes state legislators will pass a bill addressing the issue.


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