Street Lights Outages – Copper Wire Theft
After 2 neighbors from Gibson emailed us on March 1 that their street lights were out the night before, February 28, we asked RVNA block captain Craig to investigate.
We already knew that this outage might have been caused by copper wire theft, since our neighborhood had been a victim of this crime before (read a description of those 2011 incidents below). Craig, the courageous neighbor who caused the arrest of the earlier gang of thieves, confirmed that the electrical box at the corner of Reynier and Gibson had been broken into and the wires cut, so we sent an email to RVNA members on Reynier Ave asking if their lights were out as well, and we went personally to check Saturday night March 2. Not only were lights out in those streets, but in Reynier Park as well. So we sent a message to the LA City Bureau of Street Lighting, and called Park Maintenance. By Monday night March 4 all the lights had been fixed.
Last summer our block captain for 24 St reported street lights out on several blocks of Reynier Village. We sent emails to the other block captains, found out that the night before, August 17 around 4 am, our neighbor on David Ave had recorded on his video surveillance camera thieves stealing copper wire from the cement boxes next to the lamp posts, and filed a report with LAPD. We alerted Liz Carlin, deputy to District 10 Councilman Herb Wesson, she notified the Bureau of Street Lighting, we followed up with emails. By August 28 all the lights were fixed and the boxes reinforced to prevent further theft.
In the early morning hours of Thanksgiving, November 24, 2011, the thieves returned, and street lights went out on a few more blocks. Our block captain for Bedford reported the theft to LAPD, we advised the Bureau of Street Lighting. The lights were fixed quickly, the following Monday, but the thieves returned to finish the job. Eventually, by December 20, 2011 all the lights were back on.
By this time bright energy-efficient LED clusters had replaced the old bulbs.
The thieves were arrested shortly thereafter, and are now in jail pending trial, thanks to a courageous neighbor, who called 911 when he saw them stripping wire in a nearby parking lot. He received a reward from RVNA on February 6, and a LA City certificate from Districts 5 and 10 on February 16.
However more thefts could still occur, perpetrated by other criminals. So please read the LAPD flyer below and be on the look-out for suspicious activities on our streets.
Text by Elisa Leonelli, RVNA Communications 2009-2017