Enderby copper theft under investigation

Thousands of dollars worth of copper wire stolen from Enderby property

RCMP are asking the public for help in the latest theft of copper wire in the North Okanagan.

Officers were called Sunday at 2:15 p.m. to a property on Glenmary Road in Enderby for a report of copper wire theft from a storage container on the property.

“The owner reported that sometime in the last week, someone broke into the container and stole between $3,000 and $10,000 worth of copper cable,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.

Just last Monday, July 23, the ministry of justice introduced the B.C. Metal Dealers and Recyclers Act, the first provincial legislation of its kind in Canada, brought in to significantly curb the sale of metals stolen in one community and then sold elsewhere, where no local bylaw exists.

The provincewide approach focuses on metals and objects typically targeted by metal thieves, including copper wire – the main target in $10 million worth of thefts from Telus alone in 2011 – as well as aluminum, bronze, brass, lead, nickel, zinc and magnesium.

The regulations also cover specific metal objects like metal traffic control lights, signals and signs, sewer grates and manhole covers, and metal grave makers.

Removing the anonymity that allows metal thieves to profit from their activities is a key goal of the new law.

Those wishing to now sell regulated metals must present valid identification. In turn, scrap dealers and recyclers who buy these metals will share purchase details with their local police.

Officers will be able to use this information to compare against reports of stolen metal and seek court orders to obtain further information from dealers when required.

“This new theft legislation is supposed to deter individuals from turning in copper wire, so we may get information as a result. It’s hard to say,” said Molendyk.

Police are continuing to investigate the Glenmary Road theft file.

Anyone with any information about this is asked to contact the RCMP or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Tips can also be left on the North Okanagan-Shuswap Crime Stoppers’ website, www.nokscrimestoppers.com.