East Los Angeles

Thieves steal miles of copper wire, leaving LA's Sixth Street Bridge in the dark

City leaders say at least seven miles worth of copper wire have been stolen from the bridge.

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Copper thieves continue to run rampant in Los Angeles, striking the Sixth Street Bridge again and leaving certain areas of the bridge in the dark.

The famed East Los Angeles bridge was found by residents with exposed electrical boxes and missing wires. Neighbors who frequent the bridge were worried about the dangers of stealing electrical wire from the fuse boxes.

"I think it’s a pretty bad idea. It's also really dangerous for them too, they are not electricians – there is a reason why this stuff is covered up," said Hector Pereira, a neighbor who walks on the bridge.

Another neighbor, Billy Avellan, said he's been documenting the vandalism and that the issue has been going on for months.

"I first reported it to 311 six months ago," said Avellan. "It's sad. I walk this bridge every day, I can’t take a regular walk that you tax me for every time – because it's too dark. It's not safe.“

Earlier this year Los Angeles city leaders called for action against the ongoing copper theft in the city, stating that it was costing taxpayers millions of dollars to replace. At a press conference back in January, city leaders called for a $400,000 plan to create a "copper wire theft task force" to help curb the crime.

"I’m tasking our bureau to figure out a better way to reinforce you know it's not a question of if they come back it's a question when they come back - it's almost virtually impossible for them to steal it," said Councilmember Kevin de León.

As the city continues to lead anti-theft efforts neighbors hope to see the repairs made soon but also for the thieves to stop vandalizing the bridge.

"Just stop. Kids use this, families – you know what I mean. It’s not safe for anybody," said Pereira.

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