Copper wire: Property of the City of Sacramento

Police and Public Works are reducing the risks of thieves stripping copper wire from streetlights by installing wire stamped with “Property of the City of Sacramento”. Although the stamped insulation is often stripped from the wire by the thieves, the suspects may face arrest for possession of stolen property if caught with stamped insulation.

Public Works also started purchasing metal, locking pull box lids in late 2011. The new lids replace those damaged by thieves as they seek to access the wire. Although slightly more costly at $100 each, the lids have proven to be theft proof.

So far, the copper thieves have darkened more than 20,000 streetlights in the last few years costing taxpayers $1.7 million. However, this year, incidents of streetlights out have dropped by half.

If you suspect a copper theft in progress, call 911. To report a streetlight out, call 311 or use the 311 App. To check the repair date of a streetlight out, please visit the copper thefts webpage.