Thieves steal 2.5 kilometres of wire along the Island Highway near Nanaimo

Thieves stole two and a half kilometers of copper wire from highway lighting north of Nanaimo this week.

Nanaimo RCMP said in a release that the crime occurred on the night of Tuesday, April 11. The thieves were beckoning both sides of the Island Highway near the Ware Road intersection in Lantzville.

It was the highway’s electrical contractor who reported the incident to police. RCMP have been told copper wiring from 20 light poles and 12 junction boxes was stolen, with the theft “darking the entire intersection into darkness” and creating a safety hazard for drivers on the busy highway.

“Given the sheer volume of the copper wire being removed, the process would have taken a lot of time and effort, and would have required at least a large full-size truck and at least two people,” said Const, a backup officer. Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Gary O’Brien said at a press conference.

Police say the theft caused about $20,000 worth of damage. Over the past few days, crews replaced the copper wire with aluminum wire and implemented “additional security measures” to prevent further theft.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Nanaimo RCMP non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and cite file number 2023-11821.

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