Streets lamps back on after thieves steal copper wires

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Street lamps along Kenilworth Avenue are once again in operation after being out of service for the last several weeks.

They lost power after District Department of Transportation officials say thieves daringly dropped into manholes in several spots throughout the city, snipping and stealing copper wire.

"To go down in a manhole and do this, that's absurd," said William Proctor, a District resident.

"Actually I should believe that, I think people will do anything for money sometimes,” counters Cynthia Jackson of Mt. Airy.

Wires were stolen at four different locations, including Hayes Street and Eastern Avenue along Kenilworth Avenue in Northwest. The intersections of North Capitol and Irving, as well as South Capitol and Potomac in Southeast were also hit.

DDOT officials say copper wire theft is not new, but the way these thieves are getting to it is.

"This is a first time we've had this happen to us, on our infrastructure, which includes street lights and the wire that powers the street lights," said DDOT spokesman John Lisle.

Sammy Souabni has been in the construction business for eight years. He says it takes someone familiar with the work to pull off such a hazardous heist.

"If the copper or the wires are interchanged, you might get shocked, or you might get killed over that. so I'm sure whoever is doing it, they probably know what they are doing,” Souabni said.

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