City Reportedly Replaces Traffic Lights With Stop Signs at Intersection To Prevent Theft

Photo by Ronan Furuta on Unsplash

( – Oakland, California has reportedly taken away the traffic lights at a four-way intersection in order to combat theft. Some city locals are blaming the nearby homeless encampment on the increase in theft.

Reports suggest that people have been committing theft of copper wire and other infrastructure elements. The city tried to prevent criminals from tampering with the electrical boxes by blocking them with cement barriers — but even that failed. 

The city has now removed the traffic lights and replaced them with stop signs at the high-traffic intersection. 

Speaking to CBS News, Tam Le, who owns Le’s Auto Body & Engine Repair very close to the intersection, said the removal of the traffic lights signaled the city was “giving up” on the community. Le argued that the only way to solve the issue of theft would be “to clean up this homeless encampment.” 

At the intersection, the traffic lights had issues for several months because people were messing with and stealing wires. One person who lives in the city said that using the intersection had become dangerous, referencing a recent accident that occurred at the ill-fated intersection. 

Mason Young, the local who referenced the accident, argued that the city has to “stop… putting band-aids on things.”

Police information indicates that in 2024, violent crime in the city has increased by 22 percent and commercial burglary by almost 10 percent.

Last September, more than 200 business owners in Oakland temporarily closed their stores down to protest the city’s handling of public safety. 

The strike occurred days after Oakland’s local government admitted to missing a state funding deadline to fight retail theft. 

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