Copper wire theft

Workers repair the lights on Magazine Hill after copper was pulled out of the poles. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

RCMP say some copper thieves are targeting light poles in Halifax Regional Municipality, swiping the copper from lights along highway ramps.

The first problem was spotted on Oct. 10, when it was discovered someone took copper from the lights on the Magazine Hill ramp in Bedford.

Then, police found out about a similar crime at Exit 14 on Highway 118 in Fall River. They say a third location — Aerotech Drive at the airport — also had copper ripped out.

Police say not only is this a crime, but a dangerous one as the robbers could have been shocked while removing the copper.

A worker told CBC News on Friday that thieves remove the plate on the pole and then use pliers to cut the wire which kills the 600 volts running through the wires. That allows thieves to work under the cover of darkness, even on the side of a well traveled road.  

More than 250 metres of copper wire was taken from a section of the Magazine hill. If cashed in, it would worth about $700.

Each time the thieves strike, it costs between $1,000 and $1,500 to repair each pole. Secure lock boxes will soon be installed on light poles at a variety of highway intersections.

The Fall River and Bedford locations have been repaired.

In September, copper thieves broke into a demolition facility and drove off with a giant pipe filled with copper worth $20,000.

Police are asking motorists to report lights that aren't working and to keep an eye out for any suspicious vehicles they see parked near highways during the overnight hours.