Pasadena, CA - Authorities in Pasadena are on high alert as they search for suspects involved in the brazen theft of more than a dozen vintage 1920s-era bronze streetlight poles. The thefts, announced by city officials on Tuesday, have left residents and officials baffled and concerned.

When Did The Thefts Occur?

According to a news release from city officials, the thefts occurred between March 29 and April 1, during the late-night hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. The targeted area spans South Orange Grove Boulevard between Green and State streets, where these historic bronze streetlight poles, each over 100 years old, have been a cherished part of the city's heritage.

"In the last four days alone, we’ve had 11 of them stolen," stated Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Dederian to KTLA.

How Are They Stealing The Poles?

The thieves appear to be using a method involving vehicles to forcibly remove the poles from their foundations. Evidence left behind, including a rusty, heavy-duty chain tethered to one of the poles, suggests that the suspects are using a vehicle to ram the streetlights before using the chain to pull them loose.

"They’re backing in vehicles, tying a chain around them, and yanking them out of the ground," explained Dederian.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Neighbors Witnessed The Thefts

Eyewitness accounts have shed light on the audacious nature of these thefts. Neighbor Doug Devos recounted an incident where he witnessed an individual attempting to steal one of the poles using a flatbed pickup truck pulling a trailer. Despite Devos alerting the authorities, the suspect had already fled the scene by the time officers arrived.

Why Were They Stealing The Poles?

Authorities believe the motivation behind these thefts is the salvage value of the bronze material from the poles.

"They probably get $400-$500 for it, so that is really who we want to target, the middleman," Dederian emphasized.

The thefts have not only stirred concerns over the loss of historical artifacts but also raised fears about public safety. With the absence of these streetlights, the affected areas have become significantly darker at night, leaving residents feeling vulnerable.

"It’s likely vandalism," Dederian remarked regarding the charges the perpetrators could face, pledging that the thefts would be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowed by the law.

As authorities intensify their efforts to apprehend the suspects and recover the stolen poles, residents remain vigilant, hoping for a swift resolution to this troubling crime spree.

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