Miami police are placing partial blame for a car crash that threw a woman through a windshield on a recent spree of people stealing copper from street lights. In the neighborhood, there are 40 straight blocks where all the street lights are dark because of copper thieves.
The woman broke both her legs, three ribs, fractured her neck, broke her arm, and cut her liver, her son told CBS Miami.
Officials blamed the heavy rain and lack of lighting for the woman’s critical condition. “We feel if the street lights were working, this woman would have been able to see and the driver of the car would have been able to see and this woman would not be in a hospital fighting for her life,” Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Iggy Carroll told CBS Miami.
The city knew of the blackouts and tried to help with them by deploying trucks with lights, but that apparently wasn’t enough.
Copper is frequently targeted by addicts who resell it as scrap to buy drugs. They’ve been known to remove the copper pipes from unguarded houses under construction. Foreclosed houses in Florida have developed mold infestations that would cost more than the house is worth to remove after thieves stole the copper from the air conditioners. This isn’t the first death they’ve caused, either. An elderly Texas woman died this summer from the heat after thieves stole her entire A/C unit.
Maybe if the scrap places were more like bars where the bartender refuses to serve you if you seem visibly intoxicated. If you visibly look like a drug addict, they can refuse to buy your metal. Otherwise they’re creating a market that rewards vermin who are dismantling our infrastructure just to stick it in their veins, and now our citizens are dying as a result.