NORTH HIGHLANDS (CBS13) – Copper thieves shut down street lights across North Highlands in recent weeks, and residents who have been living in darkened neighborhoods for nearly two months are losing patience with city officials.

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It’s the continuation of a problem CBS13’s Call Kurtis first reported in October.

Two North Highlands residents, Dorothy McEachern and Dauna Garton said their street has remained without lighting for seven weeks, and the fear that the darkened neighborhood could attract criminals is building.

“It’s scary, because you lay in bed at night and you hear things,” McEachern said. “You look out and you can’t see what’s going on out there.”

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Sacramento County officials said 1,000 street lights have been affected by wire theft in recent weeks, and the county has already spent $160,000 repairing street lights this year.

Dorothy and Dauna said that doesn’t excuse the length of time they’ve remained in the dark.

“I’d like to see some lights back on,” Garton said. “This is getting ridiculous.”

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Officials said they are working to weld shut the access patches on poles and prevent copper thieves from stealing the wiring in the future. It could take as long as three months for all of the affected lights to be restored.