Hope RCMP targets wire thieves

Alarms and cameras installed as part of new initiative

Hope RCMP has launched a new initiative to combat the region’s wire theft problem.

Several alarms and cameras have now been installed on communication wires in priority areas.

“We’re kind of following the bait car program,” said Staff Sgt. Suki Manj. “Once those alarms are triggered, we’re notified within seconds and out there to catch them. This gives us the advantage of knowing real time that it’s happening and what area it’s in.”

Manj is planning to put together a project team to specifically target local wire thieves, many of whom are already identified as prolific offenders. He’s also coordinating his efforts with telecommunications companies and metal recyclers in the region.

The recent spike in wire theft can be contributed to the police crackdown in others areas of the Lower Mainland.

“In any kind of crime trend, we seem to be always at the end of the wave,” said Manj. “We’re seeing these guys be more brazen and starting to network together. It’s been more organized, so we’ve covertly put systems in place to apprehend these people.”

When communication cables are tampered with, customers can loose service for up to 48 hours while technicians repair the damage. During this time residents are unable to make phone calls, including 911.

Residents who notice suspicious activity in their neighbourhood or tampering of wires are asked to immediately contact the Hope RCMP at 604-869-7750.