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Moncton homeowner fed up with copper wire theft


When Jo-Anne Phillips and her husband Daniel Boudreau bought a 110-year-old duplex on Cameron Street in Moncton, N.B., in the fall, they knew it needed some upgrades.

Last week, they also found out it needed copper wiring and copper pipes after it was broken into.

Phillips said thieves cut the main power source in the basement and copper wires and pipes throughout the house were stripped.

The thieves came through the back door, but bolting it didn't help.

Two days later, the thieves came back and took whatever copper they didn't get the first time around.

Now, the couple, who own two other downtown properties, are left with a massive bill.

“Talking to the insurance company, the electrician and the plumbers, it looks like we're up around $35,000 to $45,000 to replace what has been ripped out of the house,” said Phillips. “In talking to the [metal] recycling companies, paid by the pound, they may have gotten $300 to $400 for what they took.”

Robert Nowlan's family has been in the scrap metal business for 36 years.

The vice-president of Tri Province Enterprises in Moncton said they work with the public and the police to deter any illegal activity.

Under provincial regulations, recycling companies are required to take the name, address and licence plate number of anyone who brings in metal.

“We have to have the weight, the dates, the times. Photographs are taken of the material and the people that are in here selling the product. We try to do as much as possible to ensure the product we are buying is not stolen property,” said Nowlan.

Phillips said she reached out to metal recycling depots in the city to see if anyone had come in with a plethora of copper that wouldn't be explainable. 

Renovations and repairs continue at the sandstone home but Phillips' frustration level is through the roof.

“When I contacted the police they said there's nothing they can do for me. Unfortunately, the individuals that came in, from information from our neighbours, were on foot. They’re most likely homeless. The police said that’s quite frequent, that it’s homeless folks that are doing this,” said Phillips.

Codiac Regional RCMP told CTV News they are investigating, but they don't have any video or witnesses at this time.

Sgt. Johnathan White said they don’t have any video or witnesses at this time. 

"We're looking to see if there's any new information to come forward," said White.

If the tens of thousands in damages and theft wasn't bad enough, Phillips said she also found human waste throughout the house.

“They also defecated and urinated in the home,” she said. Top Stories

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