Lake Merritt streetlamps vandalized

If you've noticed a lack of light along Oakland's Lake Merritt, you're not alone.

 The historic streetlamps lining the lake have recently been the target of vandalism, leaving folks who often walk around the lake at night without light.

It's a problem, first reported by The Oaklandside, that's been going on for more than a month.

According to the city, 34 curb boxes had been broken into and about 10 light poles were down, some because of fallen trees, others because of vandalism.

"It's become a really, really lovely place in the last 15 years," said Don, an Oakland resident who walks the lake daily. "It's depressing as hell to see it go downhill again. Every time Oakland goes downhill, it takes a long time to come back up." 

Oakland representatives said they have deployed teams to repair the downed lights and install temporary lights because it will take the original vendor time to make new posts. 

The crew in Oakland will also reinforce curb boxes that have not yet been damaged.

But Don says the city still isn't doing enough. Don said he had a message for the city. 

"Talk about it, open their mouth, which they rarely do, I haven't heard a word out of them about any circumstance happening at the lake, the lights going out, the crazy people, nothing," said Don. 

As KTVU was filming for the story, on Wednesday morning, repair crews arrived to put up temporary lights. They said it takes a couple of hours to install each post. 

They did not say how long it would be until all downed lights are repaired.

The problem of vandalized lights is not unique to Lake Merritt or Oakland.

This has been happening in more and more cities across the country as copper wiring used in the lighting fixtures is becoming more and more valuable. 

Recently, the city council put together a task force to address the growing number of copper wire thefts affecting their streetlight system.