Blackout finally over for parkgoers in Kaimuki
Copper thieves kept the lights off for several weeks
The blackout is finally over for parkgoers in Kaimuki. The lights are back on, well most of them.
Dog show training, baseball practice, Crane Park is bustling once again. But for weeks, everything was blacked out and canceled thanks to copper thieves, who broke into electrical boxes cutting off power.
"A lot of people are disappointed because these parks are really busy," said Rona Totoki, who brings her dog to the park for training classes.
"A couple of the local guys come slow pitch practice, and they had to cancel the practice too," said Santos Herbert.
Almost all 40 lights are back on, some on the volleyball court still need to be fixed. However, for some, the repairs came a month too late.
"Misbehaving dogs in the ring, like these past weekend shows, because they haven't been trained," said Jackie Thuener, an instructor for Obedience Training Club.
The city said copper stealing is a serious and expensive problem, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars, but usually netting the vandals just a few bucks per theft. For residents, the loss goes deeper than dollars.
"Hope that it doesn't happen again, and hope that the culprits will stop doing this because it's costing all of us," said Totoki.
The city said the electrical boxes have been bolted down and screwed tight to prevent another dark spell. However, they admit, a determined thief could still break in. The city is asking local recyclers to be on the lookout for the stolen copper.
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