Every night I venture out into the dense black of my street, 17th Street, Santa Monica, with my two dogs. There are no street lights. Perhaps one night there might be two or three lights flickering, but all around me is a sea of darkness, stretching to 16th, 15th and 14th streets (“Copper thieves cost taxpayers $25K,” Oct. 11, page 1).

In the daylight I look around to see how that can be, an entire area of well-to-do houses in the darkness each night. The only night lights that we have now are the overblown Halloween decorations hanging off trees with small orange fairy lights illuminating ghosts, witches and skeletons. Remember we have thousands of visitors on Halloween night, all directed by police patrol cars.

So far this is a two-week long black out. I asked the Santa Monica city repair team, who are heaving up cables from small concrete holes on the sidewalks, what is going on? They grin and say, “We have been hauling cable for weeks. More copper wiring is stolen every day. Pulled out by knowing thieves, perhaps electricians! The thieves are also on Yale and Harvard streets hauling out the valuable copper wires from street light to street light. … It is exhausting work hauling up the underground wires and replacing the copper wires that carry the electricity to the street lamps.”

Perhaps this is a case of the media paying attention. Before a dog walker or someone falls over in the dark and breaks their neck or ankle! Or an ambulance is called to an emergency in a blacked out neighborhood.

I hope to find someone interested in this very strange event. Who would think of fishing through a concrete sidewalk hole to steal underground copper cables outside a row of private houses? Let me know if you can imagine who are the thieves? Apparently it has nothing to do with underground moles, chipmunks or fishermen!


Caroline Graham

Santa Monica

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