SAN DIEGO – Dozens of City of San Diego streetlights have been vandalized and broken around downtown, which has caused some people n the area to feel unsafe.

One man crouched on the ground in front of a streetlight along B Street, cutting the interior cables which caused the pole to stop working. FOX 5 captured the moment on camera.

“It’s pretty much pitch black after sundown,” said Feel It Records owner Mark Hamilton.

He says the issue has been ongoing for months. Not just in front of his business on E Street and Ninth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter, but all over the city. 

“This one doesn’t work. Tell me about the ones across the street. That one doesn’t work. That one works sometimes and that one is burned out. Pretty much the whole block is dark at night,” added Hamilton.

When he reported the problem to the city via the Get it Done app, he was told it would take 380 days for repair. That was their average response time because he says they are short staffed.

On Friday afternoon, FOX 5 found multiple streetlights opened with wires hanging out or in some cases no wires at all. 

“You want everything to be lit up at night for us pedestrians,” said downtown resident Chris Spohr.

One man told FOX 5 that a reason some unsheltered people tamper with the street pole’s electricity is to charge their electronics. 

“Maybe if the city comes up with a solution, it would cause the boxes to stop getting tapped into. Maybe like a charging port,” said Michael Valdez.

In a statement to FOX 5, the City of San Diego said, “Vandalism of City streetlights has increased in frequency in recent years and affects hundreds of lights citywide. We have been responding to service notifications and Get it Done requests to repair and install anti-theft covers where needed that deter tampering and ensure areas remain safe and illuminated.

We spotted the anti-theft covers around the city equipped with locks. For now, Hamilton added his own lighting system until the city, he says, can do their job. 

“It’s like putting a club in your car. It could work but it’s not the best solution,” added Hamilton.

The city would not disclose how many broken streetlights they currently have. They did say you can report them on the Get It Done app.