Homeowners in one Detroit neighborhood say lack of lights led to repeat copper thefts

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Call it deja vu for a neighborhood in northwest Detroit. Days after scrappers hit their homes, the crooks apparently came back for more. And now residents want to shine a light on the repeat problem.

This is not your typical neighborhood hit for scrappers in Detroit. The area around Vassar and Ardmore is a nice block. The houses are occupied here on Detroit’s northwest side.

But just last week, 7 Action News was there talking to residents like Susan Watts, concerned about scrappers stealing copper from her AC unit, as well as several other units nearby.

"Unfortunately, as some neighbors got some of their stuff repaired, we found out that people came back." said Watts, "When the repairs were done, we found that people cut the lines again.”

"Our neighbors on the other side of Schaefer had the same issue," said Marcus Cummings, VP of the Schaefer 7/8 Lodge Association, "And we want to catch them.”

“Happened twice in the same week." said William Fielder, "The same week. You would think they’d be scared and go somewhere else, but you know it’s dark over here.”

Fielder points out no matter how nice the neighborhood looks in daylight, at night, it’s a different story. Fielder says the light on the corner of Vassar and Ardmore has never worked in the four years he's lived next to it. 

“They’ve been preying on us over here mainly because I think Vassar is not lighted." said Donald Tabron, a homeowner who's been hit multiple times, "Outer Drive is lit, but when Outer turns on, it leaves Vassar completely dark in the evening.”

The Mayor’s office says residential streets in that area are getting new lights now, but major roads like Vassar will take a little longer. Residents here say the longer they’re in the dark, the more likely these repeat scrappers will come back for more.

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