A copper thief in Charlottetown recently caused about $100,000 in damages, part of a growing crime trend on P.E.I.

A 48-year-old man has been charged in connection with theft from two air conditioning units at UPEI and from a Maritime Electric storage facility on Longworth Avenue.

Kim Griffin

Stolen copper can lead to dangerous situations, says Maritime Electric spokeswoman Kim Griffin. (CBC)

Police said the stolen copper was recovered at a scrap yard. Deputy chief Gary McGuigan said copper theft is also concerning because of the damage left behind.

 "What they leave in their wake is hundreds of thousands worth of damage for a small amount of money," said McGuigan.

Kim Griffin, spokeswoman for Maritime Electric, said there are also safety concerns for both the thief and people coming on the scene later who may not be aware of the damage done.

"The value they are taking is a very small amount considering the harm that it can do to our equipment, our employees and the loss of power for our customers," said Griffin.

Maritime Electric doesn't yet know exactly how much damage this latest theft caused, but across the country similar crimes are pricey. The Canadian Electricity Association estimates that copper theft costs the industry about $40 million every year.