Thieves caused havoc on a Langley industrial lot when they sawed down several power poles to steal copper wire earlier this month.
On Sunday, Feb. 16, police were called to the 5700 block of Production Way, near the new 196th Street overpass.
Sometime overnight, a thief or thieves had caused what police called â€œan astonishing amount of damage.â€
Two power poles had been felled, and three electrical transformers had been opened, and their contents stolen, along with the connecting cables, said Cpl. Holly Marks, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.
The poles were left leaning against nearby industrial buildings.
BC Hydro said repair costs would be about $75,000 for the entire mess.
The incident also knocked out power to the industrial property while the damage was being repaired.
Marks noted that the thieves will get far, far less for the stolen copper than the dollar value of the damage or the cost of replacing the missing wire.
The mess also created an electrical hazard to the members of the public, who could have innocently come across some of the fallen wires.
So far, police have not found witnesses to the incident. They are asking for anyone who saw anything suspicious around that area near the time of the theft to call 604-532-3200, or to remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
There have been a number of thefts of wire and other metals over the last few months around Langley, including the theft of metal parts from a new bridge under construction over the Nicomekl River at 56th Avenue. That theft delayed construction of the bridge by several weeks.
Police say metal theft is again an increasing concern in the Langleys.
â€œIt seems to be on the upswing right now,â€ said Marks.
A recent issue is the theft of another bucket-equiped truck. The trucks, with their cherry-picker lifts used for tree trimming or electrical repair work, can be used to access wires directly, without cutting down power poles.
In August, someone embarked on a two-week crime spree after stealing another plain white bucket truck.
The truck was stolen on Aug. 12, then was seen being used to steal power lines in Milner on Aug. 15. The wire was likely worth only $500 to the thief, police said.
The same truck was then caught on security cameras being used during break and enters into secure compounds around Langley. It was found on Aug. 30, not far from where it had been stolen.