Security expert says working street lights could have helped prevent theft from the Boys and Girls Club

Security expert says working street lights could have helped prevent theft from the Boys and Girls Club

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Security experts say vans like the ones stolen from the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland are strong and can hold a lot, which is why criminals often target them.

Search continues for stolen vans from Boys and Girls Club

But, there is something van owners can do to avoid becoming a target.

“Lighting is huge,” security expert Tim Dimoff explained.

With a history in law enforcement, Dimoff knows what makes a place safer.

He says the burnt out street lights on Broadway Ave. could have played a big role in preventing the theft at the Boys and Girls Club earlier this week.

“Lights and bright lights are one of the most effective deterrents of crime,” Dimoff said.

The president of the organization says he asked the city to come out and replace the broken lights several times before now.

Thursday, Cleveland 19 asked-- why didn’t they get fixed?

“The fact that they don’t get prompt response to that, that’s where I am concerned,” Dimoff said.

He continued, "We need to be able to respond quicker and better to security situations, especially those where the security has decreased and we have the opportunity to increase the security.”

Late Thursday evening, the city replied, saying crews fixed three lights near the Boys and Girls Club last month.

They thought everything was working again until a council member called Thursday and reported the outages shown in this story.

A spokesperson for Cleveland Public Power says the city is currently working to improve the system as a whole. She says CPP is installing a new LED system.

The lights should last longer, and she says the department will be automatically notified if there’s an outage.

For now though, you can report an outage to 621-LITE (5483).

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.