No End in Sight for California’s Crime Woes


Teenagers restricted from malls without adult supervision. Streets filled with surveillance cameras while offenders avoid prosecution. People forced to take their tacos to go to prevent employee assaults. California is rife with unusual crime stories.

Each time a story like this surfaces, it’s hard to imagine it being surpassed. Then it happens. In Oakland, crime has led Taco Bell to close almost all dine-in locations except one. It seems like a difficult tale to beat, but Oakland found a way. The city has swapped the traffic lights at one intersection with stop signs, hanging overhead as if they were traffic lights. The reason?

(Illustration by Tatiana Lozano / Truth Voices; Getty Images)

Because thieves are stealing copper wires from the lights and homeless individuals are tapping into the electric boxes for personal use. City officials even attempted to place cement blocks on the boxes to stop tampering, but individuals just moved them aside and continued their illegal activities.

You can relocate the Raiders out of Oakland, but you can’t remove the raiders from Oakland, especially with pro-criminal leaders who prefer restaurant closures and gas station avoidance over incarcerating criminals. Oakland could be California’s most lenient big city concerning crime, explaining why even the local NAACP chapter is opposing pro-criminal policies that leverage race as a justification for their existence.

Meanwhile, we can all anticipate the next quirky crime story from California’s cities that can surpass Oakland’s stop signs on light poles. The challenge is now with Los Angeles. Or, at least, until it gets stolen like the copper wires at a traffic light.

Zachary Faria
Zachary Faria
Zachary Faria is a commentary fellow focusing on politics and sports. He previously interned for the Washington Free Beacon. He is originally from California’s San Joaquin Valley and is a graduate of Clemson University

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