Nanaimo Mounties are investigating thefts of approximately $100,000 worth of copper electrical wire from B.C. Hydro manholes south of Nanaimo over the past few months. (News Bulletin file photo)

Two kilometres of copper wire stolen south of Nanaimo

Underground electrical wire being stolen from B.C. Hydro manholes since November

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating a string of copper wire thefts south of Nanaimo.

According to police, for the past two months, thieves have pilfered more than two kilometres of copper wire from B.C. Hydro manholes near the intersection of Nanaimo River and South Wellington roads in Cassidy.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the first of the thefts was reported in November when an estimated $53,000 worth of wire went missing. There have been more thefts since.

“They’ve hit 16 manholes … and there has been 2.3 km of copper wire stolen from underneath these stations,” O’Brien said.

He said it would require two people, a truck and other equipment to lift the heavy manhole covers to get at the wire.

B.C. Hydro estimates cost in materials and labour to repair damage and replace the stolen wire is about $100,000.

“Metal theft is a huge concern to B.C. Hydro. It’s a crime that affects the safety of the public and our employees and also has an impact on the reliability of our electrical system,” said Karla Louwers, B.C. Hydro spokeswoman, in an e-mail. “It is an extremely dangerous crime that not only exposes the perpetrators, but our employees, customers as well as the general public to significant risk. The impact to critical infrastructure and the risk to public safety are potentially significant.”

Louwers went on to say B.C. Hydro loses about $1 million due to metal theft annually and the company works proactively with police, bylaw officers, government enforcement and B.C. recyclers to combat copper theft.

The most recent reported theft from the site happened Jan. 12.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or, to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or submit a tip online at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo Theatre Group will start its season by staging a farce

Self Help follows married second-rate actors who become famous self-help coaches

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: School buses need seat belts

If I had a child in school, I would be insisting on seat belts in school buses, says letter writer

Nanaimo United forgoing soccer balls for snowballs

With soccer cancelled, snow fun day to take place at Beban Park on Saturday, Feb. 16

Man arrested in shooting at Nanaimo hotel pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

New museum exhibit presents Nanaimo mysteries

Nanaimo Mysteries exhibit unveils city’s fiction and even stranger facts

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 14

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

Dallas Stars pay tribute to Nanaimo woman who died of cancer

NHL team wore Arlene Forbes’s initials on hockey helmets last week

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read