Copper cable thieves leave Pico Union neighborhood in darkness – NBC Los Angeles

The theft of copper cables has left a Pico Union neighborhood in the dark for more than half a year. Neighbors and business owners say they don’t feel safe at night.

“They took all the cables, look at that, they took them all,” said Richard Nájera, a neighbor.

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

“I have never seen anything like this, it is very sad,” said Nájera.

Najera said the thieves targeted electrical boxes with copper cables in December.

Since then, the streets become dark when night falls because the streetlights no longer work.

“It’s dark, what can we do? We have to walk around with a flashlight on,” said Nancy Castaneda, a cashier at La Flor De Yucatán.

Castaneda said the owners put in their own exterior lights, at their own expense, to illuminate the street.

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

“Neighbors have been calling the city to turn on the lights, but no one has shown up to do it,” Castaneda said.

District 1 Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez released this statement:

“Our office is aware of the power outages in this area and we are actively working with the Street Lighting Bureau to ensure they are repaired as quickly as possible. This is a citywide issue that Councilmember Hernandez has been trying to address. Right now, Los Angeles spends less than one percent of its annual budget on the Street Lighting Bureau, resulting in delays of over six months in repairing broken streetlights. Councilmember Hernandez believes this is unacceptable and has fought hard to adjust the city budget and better fund neighborhood services so our constituents don’t have to wait months for well-lit streets. She will continue to fight for budgets that meet the needs of our residents and fund the neighborhood services they deserve.”