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Big money for stolen copper wire

The recent rash of copper wire thefts is a crime which is typically cyclical, said RCMP Sgt. Craig Massey.

“When the price of copper goes up…the financial gain is substantial,” he said Monday.

Overnight on March 6-7, approximately $8,000-$10,000 worth of copper wire was stolen Lee Mac Electric on 17th Avenue. The same morning, A-1 Radiators at 1961 Island Hwy., reported the theft of 200 pounds of copper wire valued at $400. A radiator core, worth $1,500 was also stolen. And, in late February, copper wire valued at $10,000 was stolen from two different Telus sites located in the Campbell River area.

Massey suspects the wire is being bought by unscrupulous scrap metal dealers and it’s difficult for police to make an arrest. The wire is usually covered in plastic, marked with identification or serial numbers. But Massey said thieves usually burn off the coverings at night, when the black smoke can’t be seen, and then sell the plain copper wire to anyone with cash.

He added that police rely on the “intestinal fortitude” of scrap buyers to report suspicious sellers.

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