Copper thieves ransacking public property in greater Moncton area
RIVERVIEW, N.B. -- Copper wire thieves are at it again in New Brunswick.
Since Oct. 1, Codiac RCMP say they have dealt with 20 reported copper wire thefts in the greater Moncton area, worth tens of thousands of dollars.
"It is higher than normal," said Sgt. Dan Poirier, a spokesman for the Codiac RCMP. "It's not something we see too often, but when we do see it, it happens in clusters."
Riverview Mayor Ann Seamans is all too familiar with the thefts.
She says the town has replaced more than 2,000 metres worth of wire, which represents a hefty cost for taxpayers.
"Thirty-two-thousand dollars is a lot of money, and that's the taxpayers' money that is being ripped out," Seamans said.
Seamans says the town is now swapping the copper wire, which goes for roughly $2.50 a pound, for a less valuable material as they do repairs.
"As we replace the vandalism, we're replacing it with aluminum wiring and we're also putting stainless steel bands around the polls to deter any further vandalism," Seamans said.
Greater Moncton YMCA CEO Zane Korytko also knows the struggle of covering similar costs after the centre was targeted twice in the last three months.
"We're a charity, so we're always looking at our bottom line and we're always looking at where we can save money as much as possible because we give it right back into the community through our reconnect program, through so many of our community programs," Korytko said.
Korytko says, due to concerns of potential theft at a new YMCA location -- currently under construction in the city's north end -- they've had to hire security at a cost of $2,000 a week.
"We'll have security there till at least the end of the spring, beginning of summer," Korytko said. "So we're talking anywhere between $50-75,000 of security just to make sure someone doesn't come in to take the copper wire out of our building."
Police say they currently have no suspects in any of the cases.
"We're hoping through miracles that someone will pick up a phone, give in a tip, call Crime Stoppers, but give some information because someone's gotta know what's going on out there," Korytko said.