Montecito Heights resident Tom Marble is concerned that opportunistic thieves are targeting Debs Park for its copper wire.
At aproximatley 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, Marble said he encountered a pair of would-be copper thieves attempting to strip a Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) utility box about 100 yards Debs Park Lake.
"The DWP box is adjacent to our property, so I shined a flashlight at them through the fence after hearing shovels and other tool-work going on in the darkness," Marble said.
About an hour later, Marble investigated the scene with fellow Montecito Heights resident Roy Payan and found that some components of the box had been tampered with.
"The major wire is still in place waiting to be rolled up and carried away," Marble said. "Unless action is taken, I am certain the thieves will compete the job in the coming nights. Perhaps someone--the DWP?--should take the wire themselves before the thieves help themselves to it?"
Marble said that attempted copper thefts are not new at Debs Park. In October, Payan, a member of the Community Emergency Response Team, found tools and a large spool of wire abandoned in the park by three men who were scared off by CERT Team members.
Copper is often stolen by thieves who sell it to scrap yards for a quick profit.