OG&E Hopes To Have Vandalized Streetlights Working By Summer

Tuesday, March 26th 2019, 6:24 pm
By: Karl Torp

You've probably noticed spots on our roadways where the streetlights don't work, it's usually because crooks have stripped out the copper wiring. 

If you laid out all the copper wiring stolen from Oklahoma City in the last 18 months, OG&E says it would be 13 miles long.

OG&E explained to OKC City Council that lights are being changed to aluminum wiring, but thieves don't know the difference until after a light pole has been pried open.

“The damage is done at that point,” says OG&E Spokesperson Brian Alford.

OG&E says stickers, identifying the aluminum, will soon go up poles and special boxes are being installed where wiring can’t be replaced.

Read Related Story: OKC To Repair Street Lights Without Copper

OG&E hopes to have all 300,000 of its streetlights, with highway lights being a priority, working by summer.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City police have pledged more officers to crack down on the theft and sale of copper.

See Also: Man Believes Copper Theft Invention Will Help With OKC Traffic Light Issues

“You have to be vigilant in making sure we hold those recyclers accountable. If we don't they may bend the rules,” says OCPD Chief Bill Citty.

You've probably noticed that once the light goes out, it stays out for months or longer.

There are hundreds of LED lights downtown that aren't working right now.

The City says that’s because of a problem with LED equipment.

City leaders say those lights should be working by the summer as well.