Downtown Las Vegas tenants experience power outage as electricians uncover copper theft

An email received by FOX5 at 5:09 p.m. from Bridge Property Management Group reads that power has been restored to the entire community.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 11:33 PM PDT
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UPDATE - June 21, 2022

An email received by FOX5 at 5:09 p.m. from Bridge Property Management Group reads that power has been restored to the entire community. Tenants on-site confirmed the statement to be true.

ORIGINAL STORY - June 20, 2022

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - An entire downtown apartment complex was made to evacuate after their power went out without explanation. Now hundreds of tenants are left with no place to go, stewing in the summer heat. But as FOX5 uncovered Monday, electricians said scrap metal theft is involved.

The apartments are called Ridge on Charleston, and the sudden loss of power was a mystery for hundreds of renters starting Sunday afternoon. They said they received an email mandating that they evacuate immediately due to a loss of power.

FOX5 tried to call the management company to learn more, and while they did not respond to our voicemail, while we were on-site, we spotted a manager enter and quickly exit the office. We approached, she took our contact info, and said for answers to any of our questions she would need to have a media representative send me a statement.

Meanwhile, a tenant said the company, Bridge Property Management, emailed them confirming it was vandalism and added that they have generators being delivered Tuesday morning and that they hope power will be restored by end of the day Tuesday.

She said the email also said they are working on a plan to assist residents with replacing spoiled groceries.

“I feel homeless at this point when I have a home,” said Ranika Dubose, a tenant who lives in the complex.

“It was pitch black in here,” said another tenant.

“We just got an email out of nowhere saying that the power is going off and everybody have to evacuate,” said Fareed Shakir, another renter.

But where can they go? Many tenants said they are transplants in Las Vegas.

“My family lives way in Memphis, Tennessee,” said one renter. “I have three kids! I can’t go to work... Who’s gonna watch my kids in the dark?”

FOX5 discovered a third-party electrician company on-site and learned that this outage came from an act of vandalism.

“Somebody came through and they took out all the grounds per building,” said Michael Johnson, service tech with Pacific Electric.

Copper is a target for thieves as it currently costs more than $4 per pound.

“They just straight cut it, cut it here, and then they cut some copper pipes,” said Johnson.

He said it’s a big repair job, as the thieves hit every building. I asked when it could be done.

“It’s hard to say, to even give an answer like that... We’re trying to do it as quickly as possible.”

The management office offered to pay for residents’ rooms at a hotel for up to $100 per night while they work to sort the power issues out. They also recommended 211 and Salvation Army as community resources.