Thieves continue to steal the copper wiring from streetlights across Los Angeles, and streets in Hancock Park have been hit hard the past couple of weeks. Council District 4 reports that at least 66 streetlights are now dark after a bold theft that stripped the copper wire from lights on June Street from 6th St up to Beverly Bl., and along Muirfield Road near 4th and 5th Streets. The Hancock Park Homeowners Association reports there are outages on N McCadden Pl, S Las Palmas, S Hudson, Beverly, and Third Sts, in addition to June and Muirfield.
The criminals, who appear to look like official work crews using trucks, are believed to strip the valuable wire at the base of the lamppost at the far ends of the blocks then pull it. They may be working during the day or at night. According to Council District CD 4 residents can help by keeping a watchful eye on their own streets:“To prevent further theft in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately if you observe a wire theft in progress or see any suspicious activity around city streetlights. Ensure any yellow street lighting maintenance vehicle has a city seal, the words “Street Lighting” on the driver and passenger doors and the word “Exempt” on its license plate. Ensure all staff members working on the streetlights are identified by their orange vest, hard hat and city identification. Additionally, the Bureau of Street Lighting has contractors who install new lighting. The names of these companies would be identified on their vehicles.”
In addition to 911, residents should also report dark streets to Council District 4 at (213) 473-7004 and the Bureau of Street Lighting at 311.
The Bureau of Street Lighting is expected to begin work today Monday, Oct 1st to make repairs on the streetlights, replacing the copper wire and sealing the lamppost bases in a more secure way. However, the repairs often take weeks to be completed due to labor and copper wire shortage.
With thousands of lights still vulnerable, it may take some keen eyes from citizens to help keep our streets lit.
Larchmont Buzz 2011: Copper Thieves Putting Neighborhoods in the Dark
Yep, that happened the next block over from me on Elmwood, someone removed the wiring & 2-3 blocks of street lights were out. The city made super quick repairs soon as it was discovered the wiring had been, um, borrowed. And now supposedly the street light access covers are made more difficult to remove.
Amazing, guess they just snip the wires during the day when the power’s off. Personally I wouldn’t be entirely opposed if the wire thieves got a bit of a shock before making off with the wiring.