Lighting thieves create havoc for Curepe drivers

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A T&TEC employee looks at the dangling wire which shattered a motorist’s windscreen on Tuesday morning. Police said thieves are cutting the LED lights off the wires after ripping them down. Photo by Jensen La Vende

POLICE are investigating the theft of LED lights from under the Curepe Interchange, which caused a loose wire and electrical ballast to crack a driver’s windscreen on Tuesday.

In an eight-second video shared on social media, the dangling wire is seen inches away from vehicles as drivers manoeuvre to avoid hitting it.

Newsday visited the area and met councillor J-lynn Roopnarine of the Tunapuna Regional Corporation, who said at about 9.45 am someone messaged her after their windscreen was damaged by the dangling wires. Roopnarine contacted the relevant authorities and by 11 am workers from the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) arrived and removed the wire.

Police who were also at the scene told Newsday the wires became loose after thieves ripped them off the overpass to steal the lights.

Newsday spoke to Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan, who said he first became aware of the light thieves six months ago. Four months later thieves returned, and then again on Monday night.

“To get this back up will cost us significantly,” Sinanan said, adding that he could not give a value for the stolen lights.

Removing them is not an option, he said, as the changing lights add to the aesthetics of the overpass. He called on the public to report any sightings of thieves to the police, as this was “distressing the ministry.”

Oncompensation for the driver whose windscreen was damaged, Sinanan said the matter must take its natural course through the driver’s insurance.