Oakland locals blame homeless encampment for city removing traffic lights to stop copper thieves

A California city has removed traffic lights from a four-way intersection as the city deals with theft stemming from a large homeless encampment nearby.

According to local residents interviewed, Auckland is experiencing a high rate of crime and theft, including theft of copper wire and city infrastructure. CBS News. The city tried to prevent criminals from tampering with the distribution boxes by surrounding them with cement, but to no avail. Now, the city has begun removing traffic lights at busy intersections and replacing them with stop signs.

“This just shows that the city has given up on us,” Tam Le, owner of Le’s Auto Body & Engine Repair near the intersection, told CBS News. “If we really want to fix the stop signs, I think we need to deep clean this homeless encampment.”

The lights had been on and off for months as criminals tampered with the electricity and stole the wiring, the report said. Local resident Mason Young said it had become extremely dangerous to drive through the intersection and there had been an accident there recently.

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The city tried to prevent criminals from tampering with the electrical boxes by surrounding them with cement, but to no avail. (Getty)

“We have to stop just putting a Band-Aid on it, but it’s better than bleeding,” Young said.

Violent crime in Oakland has increased by 22% this year, the report says. Recently available police datacommercial theft also increased by nearly 10%.

When September ends, 200 business owners close stores To oppose the government’s security response as crime increases. The protest was held days after city officials admitted they had missed a deadline to apply for state funding to fight retail theft.

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That same month, Oakland city leaders We have started a grant program It would provide funding for small business owners to host events such as training classes, musical performances and movie nights to attract customers to local stores where crime has decimated patronage.


Oakland officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CBS News reported that the stop sign is temporary, but it is currently unclear when the traffic light will be restored.