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City Blames Streetlight Vandals For Putting Neighborhoods In Dark

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Chicago logs thousands of complaints of unlit street lights, CBS 2 and the Better Government Association has learned. (CBS)

Chicago logs thousands of complaints of unlit street lights, CBS 2 and the Better Government Association has learned. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (AP/CBS) – Chicago officials say vandals are putting Chicago neighborhoods in the dark, a response to a 2 Investigators report on how, in some neighborhoods, entire blocks of streetlights have been knocked out.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger Reports

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that officials say the number of reports of vandalism to streetlights is on the rise – 115 calls to the city’s non emergency number about broken streetlights since Aug. 1.

Transportation Commissioner Bobby Ware says that he thinks drug dealers and other criminals are knocking out the streetlights, sometimes minutes after city crews have repaired them.

2 Investigator Dave Savini and the Better Government Association teamed up to review a critical Chicago city service: street lights.

bga City Blames Streetlight Vandals For Putting Neighborhoods In Dark

Debra Switak, who lives near Midway Airport, says the lamps outside her home have not worked in two months. She does not feel safe.

“It’s just like nobody cares,” Switak says.

The problem isn’t unusual, it turns out. A joint investigation by CBS 2 and the BGA discovered nearly 30,000 people complained about complete blocks of broken street lights from January 2009 through May 2010.

The Sun-Times reports that, from Aug. 1. through Oct. 24, the city had nearly 20,000 reports of entire blocks in the dark.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. CBS contributed to this report.)

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