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Oakland Is Eliminating Street Lights Thanks To Theft

It’s no secret crime in California has gone out of control in many areas. One of the worst is Oakland where the city has been struggling with abandoned, stripped, stolen cars dumped on city streets, among other pervasive criminal activity. But the latest sign of this trend is the elimination of some traffic lights.

Watch ATM thieves in Oakland use a backhoe to pull off the heist.

According to a report from KPIX, residents near one street intersection which now has stop signs instead of traffic lights blames the whole thing on a nearby homeless encampment. They claim the city’s refusal to do something about the criminal activity centered in that encampment has led to rampant theft.

What’s happening to street lights in Oakland, and we’ve seen in other cities like Las Vegas, is thieves ripping out copper wires. It’s happened so much that it appears Oakland officials have decided to just replace the traffic lights with stop signs.

One resident on camera told KPIX that Oakland leaders are “giving up on us.” The guy looked depressed as he said that. We can’t imagine what kinds of emotions he and other people in the area are going through, realizing the city will just cede ground to criminals instead of standing up to them.

But one man who spoke with KPIX expressed his praise for city leadership, saying he believes the stop signs are better than the lights. After all, the lights didn’t work properly for months, if it all, thanks to the constant copper thieves.

We’ve seen similarly mixed opinions about other crimes in Oakland, including street takeovers and car thefts, even armed carjackings. While some think these problems are just a part of life, others believe stricter enforcement of laws would restore order.

Ultimately, we think people are getting exactly what they voted for, and in a way that’s sad as well as just.

Image via KPIX CBS News Bay Area/YouTube

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