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Patch Watch: Vandalized Electric Outlets Near Los Gatos Trees

Trees that are lit all year long have had their electric outlet covers damaged by vandals.

Someone is vandalizing the electric outlet box covers found at the base near downtown trees on Main Street and North Santa Cruz Avenue.

A reader sent three photos to show us the damage.

Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Director Todd Capurso said unfortunately the outlets get opened; the cables are yanked out and damaged.

When the department is made aware of the problem, it tries to respond in a speedy manner to fix them, which costs money since the work is contractual, Capurso explained.

"The town is responsible for street tree lighting throughout the downtown area," Capurso said. "When things like this happen, it basically costs the town money to take care of it and usually it's not something that we budget for."

The outlets have cables hardwired to a small electric box in the ground.

Keeping the trees lit and maintained year round costs the town tens of thousands of dollars, Capurso added.

LOCATION: Main Street and North Santa Cruz Avenue

PROBLEM: Vandalized electrical outlets at base of downtown trees

RESPONSIBLE AGENCY: Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Department, (408) 399-5770, or email department director Todd Capurso at tcapurso@losgatosca.gov.

DATE REPORTED: April 2

DAYS ON WATCH: 23

Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz April 24, 2012 at 07:34 PM
This is very sad. But I have noticed people getting worse in their attitudes since the recession. It could get worse before it gets better unfortunately.
Jonathan Knowles April 24, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Another example of our decaying downtown infrastructure in Los Gatos. I am deeply concerned about this, the weeds, the decrepit newspaper stands, the incredible proliferation of "A" frame signs blocking the sidewalks and so many other sad and dangerous things about downtown Los Gatos these days. Thank goodness for the Los Gatos Beautification Committee. They are a group of resident volunteers that regularly clean up our downtown. I would like to hear the specific details of any plans to get things fixed up. I do have to give the town some credit. After the vandals covered the sidewalks, streets, and walls of buildings with Kony 2012" graffiti, the town did manage to get some of it cleaned up quickly. I also believe the business that has been writing graffiti on the sidewalk to promote their wares has been warned.
Sheila Sanchez April 25, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Thank you for the comment, Jonathan and the extra information. It's greatly appreciated. After speaking with Todd Capurso yesterday I learned that these acts of vandalism cost the town thousands of dollars that are not on the budget. Things on the budget, he said, are routine tree maintenance and trash pickup. The town can't budget for electrical damage to the outlet boxes at the base of the trees. Capurso also noted that when the damage is done and needs immediate repair, money is found, but at the expense of something else, which is unfortunate.

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