Saturday, December 03, 2005

Street Light Thieves & Metal Scavengers

Some undesirable elements in the city of Baltimore have been exhibiting some Nigerian-like attributes lately. What would one call the actions of some residents that have been stealing street lights, yes, street aluminum poles and the light fixtures on them? According to the Yahoo!, “about 130 aluminum light poles have vanished this fall [in the last 2-3 months] from locations across the city, despite the difficulty of carting off the 250-pound objects.”

Just in case you were wondering, vandalism and thefts of steet lights, and aluminum poles and railings are common occurrence in Nigeria, but the U.S modus operandi is slightly more sophisticated than that in Nigeria. The report states that the culprits usually dress dressed up as utility crews, “…and placed orange traffic cones around the poles they are about to take down to avoid making motorists suspicious. Police have no suspects in the thefts”

The audacity of these thefts has left residents, law enforcement and city officials baffled. The aluminum poles are usually sold off as scrap at about 35 cents a pound.

This act of vandalism is not limited to Baltimore, it has occurred in New York City too, although theirs is different and much more outrageous! A couple of people have been arrested for prying off pieces of the historic Brooklyn Bridge and selling them as scraps.

The cities of Baltimore and New York have one of the highest densities of Nigerians, and as it can be expected, sprinkled among this mass are some bad Nigerian elements. Is it a wild assumption to suggest that perhaps these street light thieves and metal scavengers have learnt one or two lessons from our good-for-nothing Nigerian country-men in these cities?

Not impposible, but I won't be surprised if they are associates of Alamieyeseigha, the Nigerian king-pin of common thieves.