Copper wire thefts continue to plague residents in Hancock Park where now almost 23 blocks of over 70 in the neighborhood are in the dark said Hancock Park HOA president, Cindy Chavatl Keane. The reason is because it just takes minutes for thieves to cut the wire at one end of the block and pull the wires out at the other but it takes the city weeks to repair the block and seal the vaults so the newly replaced wires are less vulnerable to theft. Part of the delay is tied up in procuring the copper wire.
Fabian Cheng, at the Bureau of Street Lighting says he has six crews out working to repair lights but they can’t keep up with the demand. Currently the Wilshire area is being targeted but Cheng said he’s gotten reports of thefts in the Valley and even San Pedro. Street lights throughout the city have been targeted by thieves over the past five years when the price of cooper sky rocketed. With no dramatic price reductions on the horizon, the city has developed specifications for new LED lights that use thinner copper wires less attractive to thieves. But that doesn’t help residents who are in the dark.
Ben Seinfeld, field deputy for Councilman Tom La Bonge, is coordinating with the Bureau of Street Lighting and LAPD to investigate the thefts as well as to provide extra protection for resident on dark streets now more vulnerable to other crimes including burglary.
In the meantime, residents should report anything suspicious to LAPD by calling 911. Be sure to review the prevention tips below…