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Cables under H-1 vandalized, knocking out 35 traffic cams

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 6:27 p.m. HST, Dec 26, 2013

For the second time in two months, vandals knocked out several dozen traffic cameras across Oahu by ripping out fiber optic cables at a site under the H-1 freeway.

Some 35 traffic cameras in the Pearl City and Kaneohe areas are not working and likely will stay that way for up to 30 days, according to Department of Transportation Services Mike Formby. Officials discovered the latest round of vandalism 2 a.m. Wednesday, Formby said. 

The site is secured by the Department of Emergency Services with a 15-foot foot-tall barbed-wire fence. However, Formby said city officials believe vandals accessed the site from the freeway above, where they severed the PVC plastic conduits and then cut through iron conduits below.

"They went through metal. I don't know what's next," Formby said Thursday. He said he's instructed DTS engineers to look into better ways to protect the lines from what's believed to be copper thieves (even though there's no copper to be stolen).

Similar acts of vandalism at the H-1 site and another location were discovered Nov. 4, knocking out 46 cameras across Oahu. Formby said the cameras were restored five days following that incident.

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