Pico Union

Copper wire thieves leave Pico Union neighborhood in the dark

The streets are dark when night falls because the streetlights are no longer working. 

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Copper wire theft has left a Pico Union neighborhood in the dark for more than half a year. Neighbors and business owners say they do not feel safe at night. 

“They took all the wires, look at that, they took all of them,” said Richard Najera, neighbor. 

Richard Najera walks around his Pico Union neighborhood on 18th Street and Hoover in disbelief when he sees broken electrical boxes. 

“I have never seen anything like this, it is so sad,” said Najera. 

Najera said thieves targeted the electrical boxes with Copper wires in December. 

Since then, the streets are dark when night falls because the streetlights are no longer working. 

“It is dark. What can we do? You have to walk with your flashlight on,” said Nancy Castaneda, cashier at La Flor De Yucatán.

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Castaneda said the owners put on their own outdoor lights, at their own expense, to light up the street.

The owners of the business said their restaurant was broken into and money was taken out of their register a couple of months ago. They believe the street lighting would have made a difference. 

“Neighbors call the city to put the lights on, but no one has showed up to do so,” said Castaneda. 

Eunisses Hernandez, District 1 Councilmember, released this statement: 

“Our office is aware of the street light outages in this area and we are actively working with the Bureau of Street Lighting to ensure they are repaired as quickly as possible. This is a city-wide problem that Councilmember Hernandez has been working to address. Right now, Los Angeles spends less than one percent of its annual budget on the Bureau of Street Lighting, resulting in repair delays of over six months for broken streetlights. Councilmember Hernandez believes this is unacceptable and has fought so hard to right-size the City’s budget and better fund neighborhood services so that our constituents are not left waiting for months for safely lit streets. She will continue to fight for budgets that meet the needs of our residents and fund the neighborhood services they deserve.”

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