Blaming street gangs for a bizarre new urban danger, Long Beach police on Friday warned that the sabotage of street light poles pose a potentially lethal threat. Incidents in which gang members have apparently short-circuited wires to knock out street lights to commit crimes unobserved have prompted police to issue the warning.
Police said it is "vitally important" to avoid touching the poles because people could be electrocuted, Lt. S.J. McAndrew said. "The voltage in a light standard is so high that it can send a fatal arc of electricity over two feet in the air from the wires," McAndrew said.
Sgt. Bob Ballew said the practice has become fairly common in high-crime areas in recent months.