Forget about copper wiring; metal thieves steal entire historic lamppost

Screws mark the spot of stolen lamppost.

Bronze lamppost line the entire length of the bridge

One of the bronze lampposts that line the iconic Glendale-Hyperion Bridge linking Atwater Village and Silver Lake was stolen off the span, with the thieves leaving behind only a twisted set of screws that once held the post in place.

The theft of the 1920s era lamppost was discovered by workers on Tuesday as they looked into why some of the lights on the bridge had gone out, according to an email alert from Leo Rey, an officer with the LAPD’s Northeast Division. The investigation revealed that not only had thieves cut open a high-voltage power system but also made off with the lamppost located about midway across the approximately 1,200-foot-long span at the top of a stairway. After a similar theft several years ago, workers welded the metal nuts at the base of the poles to help deter more theft. That worked – until now. Rey provided details about how the post – easily more than 10 feet tall – was stolen:

This time the thieves cut off the anchor bolts, below the welding and above the pole’s base section using some kind of portable saw and then pushed the pole over! … Welding will no longer be a sufficient deterrent this time as the thieves are smarter and have adjusted to our equipment hardening methods.

The fluted bronze lamppost is one of the many that line the pedestals and railings of the Neo-Classical style span and help create a unified look for the half dozen separate bridges that make up the structure.

The Eastsider is checking the Bureau of Street Services to see if the lamppost will be replaced.

Rey said there has been an increase in metal theft – including copper and bronze – during this holiday season. Rey advised residents to call 911 if they spot anyone removing copper wires or “antique light poles.”


  1. Just ridiculous, we live in a third world city!

  2. I Will Remove The Rest Of The Light Poles Before They Get Stolen. Those Poles Are Part Of History “

  3. The disrespect for the city (and environs) is, as said, ‘third world.’ Gen. Otis’ statue and soldiers and newsboy at MacArthur Park is missing an entire soldier, along with smaller pieces like the General’s scabbard. Veteran’s brass markers stolen at cemeteries — thieves should be taken down on spot.

    Local canyons in Angeles National Forest are tagged on rocks, cliff sides and even alders on the stream.

    • Echo Park resident

      I had no idea about the statues in MacArthur Park. That’s just heartbreaking and disgusting. We need a revamp of that park, and it should be closed to the public sooner than later. It was once the “place to be” at the turn of the 20th century. Now? It’s probably one of the most dangerous places in the city. Such a shame. I don’t know how the city let it become so overwrought with crime and garbage. It’s easy to blame “immigrants,” but I hold the City just as accountable for MacArthur’s deplorable conditions.

      The theft of the lamp post is also just as infuriating. People have no respect for this city sometimes.

      • I hear ya about MacArthur Park. One of the biggest problem is the homeless, not the only problem, but one of the more significant…and you know L.A.’s homeless are protected. Homeless Americans from out of state come here to L.A., and when they set up in city limits, we can’t touch them unless caught doing something illegal, or even disturbing the peace. I have to tip my hat to Santa Monica, they dont put up with it and send them packing to Venice.

        • You know who else we can’t touch unless they’re caught doing something illegal? People with homes. I think there’s a reason they call it “legal” when you’re not breaking the law.

          I wish there was something better we could do to help these people, but there’s no point in harassing people just because they either can’t afford a home or don’t have the mental health support they need to maintain one.

        • Those pesky civil rights protections we are ALL privileged to possess sure do suck to those people who want to persecute and criminalize a segment of the population different from their own.

  4. Unless the thieves have their own smelter, they will not be able to sell the lamp for scrap. Metal recyclers can be fined heavily for buying manhole covers or anything like this.

    They could take south to our lovely neighbors “sin problemo”

    • The fact that all this stuff continues to be stolen would seem to indicate that there are recyclers that are accepting it. Until there is a full scale investigation of recyclers and jail time for them, this problem will not end. Even thieves dying from electrocution has not stopped copper wire theft.

      • In order to remove a 10ft bronze light pole which was welded into place you’re going to need heavy equipment to remove it. This isn’t something 10 guys can remove with hand tools and a pick-up truck. If they had the equipment to steal it, they probably have the equipment to cut it into pieces so they can sell the unrecognizable pieces.

        • Cut the Power in the Junction box by cutting wires-3 minutes

          Need to a Portable grinder with diamond saw(very clean cuts) to cut the bolts–2 minutes

          A rope(maybe) to hold the lamp post while they bend it over to catch it on the ground.

          Medium pick up truck.

          Maybe 10 minutes top with 2 to 4 people. They’ll wait months if they hit the bridge again.

          • Unless you went intentionally slow, you could have the wires cut in FAR less than 3 minutes. Anyone who knew even a little bit about electricity would likely have them cut and out of the way in less than a minute, especially if they were ready in advance and with the right tools (ie: sidecutters). Myself, I think I could very likely have them cut and capped in 30 seconds or less if I moved quick. Not encourging anyone to do it, just saying it’s actually not difficult at all.

            But you are right about it not actually taking long to steal a pole; at least not when you have the right tools and a bunch of guys. Theives would not get away with this kind of thing if it took them an hour to pull off.

        • Doubtful about your weight estimate. Assuming a 10 inch diameter, a 0.5 inch thickness, and a 10 foot height gives about 1900 cubic inches of bronze. Bronze has a density of about 0.32 pounds per cubic inch. This gives a total weight of about 600 pounds.

          A person can, without much trouble, lift 100 pounds and walk with it a short distance. I think two or three well-motivated people could pretty easily lift up an end while someone backed a truck up to the raised end. Especially if they had a lever (like a 4×4 jammed into one end of the post). Summary, I think you’re overestimating the organizational capacity of these goons.

  5. Maybe an act of the cyclist lobbbyists. Holding the bridge for ransom.

    • Pretty sure you’d need a car to move this large of an object. Clearly, its the work of the car-only lobbyists.

      • Cyclists have cars hidden in garages don’t you think?

        • Impossible! We’re always told that cyclists don’t pay any taxes or pay for roads, bla bla bla…

          My money is on the car lobby cause they’re losing the battle on Hyperion (and in every day life). Car lobby cars not for the aesthetics of our city, they’d pave everything into a parking lot if they could. Cyclists care about beauty and aesthetics so this theft stings us in ways you can’t imagine

  6. I’m as disgusted as anyone by this act of brazen disregard for our shared cultural heritage, even though personally I’m not that encumbered by the past.. Going out on a limb here, but is it not reasonable to assume, given the jungle of laissez faire capitalism to which so many in this country aspire, that the self interest expressed by these thieves’ action will not in the long run somehow benefit us all? Perhaps we need to take the larger view.

  7. Just sad. So you leave the remaining parts out there to be stolen also or take them down and put them in a warehouse where nobody can see them?

  8. Slow down traffic and encourage people to walk over the bridge “eyes on the street”. This probably wouldn’t have happened.

  9. It’s time for the LAPD to do a sting operation targeting local scrap yards. I wonder if it was city workers since no ones seems to have taken notice of the theft in action?

  10. “…given the jungle of laissez faire capitalism to which so many in this country aspire, that the self interest expressed by these thieves’ action will not in the long run somehow benefit us all? ”


  11. Every town on the planet has lame people. It just seems to me that LA has an unusually large percentage. These thieves fall into that bucket

  12. This is an article about a stolen lamp post, yet some people are commenting on cars vs cyclists! What is this, congress???

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