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

Vancouver Island Military Museum Veterans Wall of Honour nearing completion

Wall will be B.C.’s largest tribute to veterans’ military service

Nanaimo woman committed armed robberies to fuel drug habit

Caroline Green, 50, had sentencing hearing in Nanaimo court on Friday

Court date moved for Nanaimo city manager accused of threats

Tracy Samra’s court date now scheduled for next month

Crash in Nanaimo claims man’s life

One man dead after crash in Nanaimo. Police say speed and alcohol are considered factors.

RDN receives funding for flood risk assessment

Regional District of Nanaimo to see $80K from B.C. government and $70K from feds

Development permit approved for condos in north-end commercial district

Two five-storey buildings proposed along Metral Drive

Province approves city’s process for borrowing $17M for fire hall

Alternative approval process will start April 3

Nanaimo Harbourfront Library set to host third annual GeekCon

Cosplayers, comic book fans and board gamers unite at library

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange closes its gates

Non-profit recycling depot will spend the rest of the month preparing for site demolition

Public warned not to eat herring eggs harvested from French Creek to Qualicum Bay

Island Health reports vibrio cholerae infection linked to eating herring eggs

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Nanaimo gymnasts win provincial championships and more

Eleven athletes from Nanaimo Gymnastics School represented their high schools at provincials

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Most Read