Public safety put at risk by metal thieves

Wire theft is putting Fraser Valley residents' safety at risk, especially those living with little or no cellphone service in remote areas of the region.

Wire theft is putting Fraser Valley residents’ safety at risk, especially those living with little or no cellphone service in remote areas of the region.

Telephone land lines have been cut by copper wire thieves leaving “thousands” without service, and even electric highway safety signs have been put out of commission, leaving drivers at risk, police said.

Some residents in the Yale and Boston Bar area were stranded “for weeks” without telephone service after an ice storm and a landslide delayed repairs to damaged land lines.

“We have no cellphone service, which makes it really troublesome when land lines aren’t repaired,” Lloyd Foreman, Boston Bar area director at the Fraser Valley Regional District, said after last month’s board meeting.

Foreman and Yale area director Dennis Adamson called on the FVRD board to send a “strongly-worded” letter to Telus about the service delay.

But Telus spokesman Shawn Hall said repair crews couldn’t reach land lines damaged by the ice storm because the landslide closed access roads, and then the metal thieves hit, taking copper wiring the company had paid “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to bury underground.

And last Monday, metal thieves hit Telus again, breaking into an armored conduit under the Hope Bridge, shutting down about 250 voice and Internet customers, as well as a cellphone tower, he said.

All for about 10 feet of copper wire, worth about five bucks to scrap metal dealers.

Hall said Telus is “happy to talk with the regional district” about solving the problem, and is actively working with the RCMP to put metal thieves out of business.

“They’re putting our customers at risk, leaving them without 911 service,” he said.

The RCMP is asking the public to report any suspicious activity around power poles and other locations with copper wiring.

Most of the thefts have taken place in the daytime, in heavily-populated areas, so police believe there must be witnesses.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hope RCMP at 604-869-7750 or the Chilliwack RCMP at 604-792-4611.

Tips can also be called in to Crime Stoppers at 1-888-222-TIPS or made online at www.chilliwackcrimestoppers.ca.

rfreeman@theprogress.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Rescuers come up empty after scouring Coquihalla River for 50-year-old man

Police, search teams, drones and helicopters were involved in the two-day search

Some Chilliwack residents dealing with water on land and underground

City reminds homeowners to be ready for basement floods as Fraser River and water table rises

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

RCMP ask for help to find missing Chilliwack teenager

Eighteen-year-old Abigail Amber Peters Swan was last seen in Abbotsford

Financial literacy program expands across the Fraser Valley

Big Brain Literacy Program aims to help folks thwarted by the pandemic and in need of budgeting help

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Abbotsford school vice-principal accused of getting Instagram ‘confessions’ page shut down

@A.S.S.S.Confessions page claims school officials contacted families to find out person behind page

Most Read