Copper thefts leave Nanaimo street in the dark

Thieves strip copper wiring from 23 lamp standards in recent theft

Nanaimo Mounties are taking a dim view of thieves who stripped copper wiring from nearly two dozen lamp standards and left a street in north Nanaimo in the dark on the weekend.

The most recent thefts happened sometime overnight Sunday on Uplands Drive between Hammond Bay Road and Dover Road when 23 street lights went out after they were stripped of their copper wire.

The cost for labour and materials for city crews and local contractors to repair the lighting is estimated to be in the thousands of dollars.

According to police, thieves have been active in recent months and have hit multiple locations throughout the city. In 2018 there have been 12 reported thefts of copper wiring. On March 18, wires were cut and stolen at four locations, including Mostar Road at Jordan Avenue, Maureen Way, Westwood Road at Cathers Drive, and Lawlor Road at Tenth Street. The Nanaimo RCMP Street Crimes Unit is actively investigating the thefts.

“These types of crimes take time to commit,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman said in a press release. “Often criminals will cut the wiring the day before then return the next night. With a large spool loaded on to the back of a pickup they simply gather up the wiring and move on. With the time involved, it would be difficult to conceal their movements and therefore, we are confident someone saw something, which can assist with the investigation.”

Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. To remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers or call 1-800-222-8477.

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