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Copper Thieves Steal From St. Paul Holiday Lights Display

ST. PAUL (WCCO) -- Electric cords have been cut and stolen from the lighted displays in St. Paul's Phalen Park this week.

According to a representative of IBEW Holiday Lights, the thieves cut both heavy and light duty electric cords, costing the event more than $2,500 to replace.

"One of the tragedies of the thefts is that the cost of replacing cords means there is less for us to donate to our worthy non-profits," said Lisa Engh, event co-chair. "All of our net proceeds go straight to charities that benefit our community so this hurts on many levels."

However, Engh said the event's volunteers are keeping the 50 lighted displays running every night.

"While it is disappointing to have a Grinch try to steal the holiday spirit from the community, it certainly is a reassuring sign of the season to see our Holiday Lights in the Park volunteers step up to keep the displays shining bright for our guests each night," said Engh.

Right now, the price of copper is about $3.50 a pound. Organizers pointed out that there really isn't much copper in their cords.

John Schmitz walks daily in the park and can't believe anyone would try to ruin such a display.

"It's pretty shocking," he said. "It's sad something so nice would be ruined by I am sure just a few people."

St. Paul Police are now increasing patrols, but are turning to the public for help. Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to call St. Paul Police at 651-291-1111.

The even opened on November 22 and runs through Jan. 1, 2012.

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