Published: Mar 04, 2011 12:04 AM EST
Updated: Mar 03, 2011 9:13 PM EST

CHARLOTTE COUNTY- Copper thieves in struck in Charlotte County this week leaving one neighborhood in the dark.

For more than a year, construction crews have been working on a widening project on Midway boulevard in Charlotte County, including more than 30 brand new street lights that were recently installed.

But when workers showed up at the site on Wednesday, they were surprised to be greeted by local neighbors.

"We showed up to work Wednesday morning and one of the residents stopped by and wanted to know why the new street lights were out," project manager Jeff Kaiser said.  

They started investigating and it turns out that thieves had removed the copper wire from the lights in the middle of the night. The neighbors said that they noticed that the lights went out shortly after midnight Wednesday.

According to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, someone may have used a four wheeler or an atv to pull the 3000 feet of wire out of the poles.

Sheriff's office spokesman Bob Carpenter says that these kinds of crime are becoming way too common.

"We've had five of the street light type of incidents where they are pulling out hundreds if not thousands of feet of copper wire and that's happened five times in the last year."

The county says that because of the theft, this project could be set back about five weeks and $5,000, and so far, the sheriffs office has very few clues so they are asking for your help.

If you know anything about this crime, law enforcement is asking that you call crimestoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS