- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says a Clark County couple has been indicted in a rash of thefts that stripped copper wire from highway lighting systems.

The cabinet said in a statement that a Franklin County grand jury handed down an 89-count indictment on Monday against Aaron Ferguson and his wife, Cindy Ferguson. The statement says the charges stem from information developed after the cabinet offered a $2,500 reward in the case.

The indictment notes 22 incidents in 2014 in which copper wire was taken from lighting systems on interstates and parkways in Bath, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Jefferson, Laurel, Nelson, Scott and Woodford counties.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the Fergusons have an attorney.

Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said he hopes indictment acts as a deterrent to stop any further damage to highway lights because taxpayers foot the bill for repairs.

“Theft of copper wire from highway lights has caused millions of dollars in damage - damage that far exceeds the value of the wire when it is sold for salvage,” Secretary Hancock said. “It’s a double loss to taxpayers because the cost of repairing our lighting systems takes away from other maintenance responsibilities of the Transportation Cabinet.”

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