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Copper Thefts Leave Redlands Community In The Dark

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REDLANDS (CBSLA.com) — A community in San Bernardino County has been left in the dark after a series of copper thefts have disabled their street lights.

Redlands resident Nate Coffin said the lights on his cul-de-sac have been off since Friday morning.

“Street lights serve as a valuable deterrent to crime and make it safer for people to walk in,” Coffin said.

Police have told residents in Coffin’s community that thieves have been ripping out the wiring in the poles to steal the copper. They get to the wires by removing a metal plate at the base of the pole.

“It’s a common occurrence here. Unfortunately, copper thieves break into our street lights to cash in on the metal. They’ve done it with our fire hydrants, as well,” Coffin said.

“Part of the problem is we don’t know if the wiring is hot or not. In the past, they’ve ripped the cover off and there are bare wires hanging out,” Coffin said.

With Halloween just weeks away, parents in the neighborhood are worried that these dark streets could be dangerous for kids going trick-or-treating.

“It’s not safe for kids to be walking around in the dark. Obviously, a neighborhood isn’t safe if it’s not well-lit,” Coffin said.

Officials told CBS2/KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen that they would be sending out crews to fix the street lights.

Residents say it won’t last for long: the same lights were fixed just three months ago because of copper thefts.

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