Sacto 9-1-1
December 10, 2012
Copper wire thefts down and streetlights back on in Sacramento

The number of street light wire copper thefts in the City of Sacramento is down to five a week.

That's a considerable decrease from 20 calls a week being reported before April. Since then, police began a crackdown on copper wire thieves and utility crews engaged in an effort to clear a big backlog of darkened streetlights.

On April 10, the city council okayed the transfer of $2 million to help make repairs after rampant copper wire thefts left 150 neighborhoods dark.

Neighborhoods were on a waiting list for up to 12 months to get street lighting restored. All 150 of the neighborhoods now have had their lighting repaired, according to a city press release.

Also since April 10, police have arrested copper thieves and concentrated on salvage yards where stolen copper is sold. The public works department has also installed metal locking pull box lids and welded shut access points on streetlight poles.

"Since April, we've restored power to some 8,800 dark streetlights," said Hector Barron, city traffic engineer.

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