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B.C. Hydro hit in $35,000 underground copper-wire heist

Jan 06 2012

West Shore RCMP are investigating a sophisticated copper wire theft in Langford where thieves stole $35,000 worth of the metal.

B.C. Hydro reported the theft to police Wednesday after seeing that a green utilities box near the entrance to the Westhills development on Langford Parkway had been tampered with.

They found that thieves removed nearby manhole covers and went underground to steal 770 metres of copper wire, said RCMP spokesman Cpl. Kathy Rochlitz.

“The wire is the width of an adult male's thumb, weighs over 5,000 pounds in total and would have taken a period of three full nights to commit this theft,” Rochlitz said.

It will cost B.C. Hydro almost $50,000 to replace the copper wire, she said.

Rochlitz would not speculate as to whether investigators are pinning the theft on several people but it’s unlikely a lone person could have carried out the massive theft.

Police hope witnesses will come forward to help them catch the copper thieves.

The box sits between the soccer pitch parking lot and Langford Parkway, Rochlitz said, and while it is surrounded by metre-tall cedar trees, it is visible from the road and parking.

Investigators don’t know when the theft occurred but say it could be as far back as a month ago.

Anyone who saw anything unusual should call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).