There is a saying that every plus has a minus and this is a perfect example. Metal thieves will take just about anything to make a few bucks at the nearest recycling company, from telephone and power wires to manhole covers and memorial plaques.
Those brazen acts have now gained the attention of the British Columbia government, which intends to stem rampant metal theft with new legislation this fall.
B.C. Solicitor General Shirley Bond said her government recognizes that the issue has a huge economic impact, but it’s public safety that is behind the planned new law.
“Any time we see 911 going down as a result of metal theft, we have to do something about it,” she said.
Shawn Hall, a spokesman with Telus, said there has been 200 incidents this year alone of copper cable stolen from the telephone company and in each incident the phone lines are down for up to 36 hours.
“Make no mistake about it, these thieves are putting our customers’ lives at risk. It’s only a matter of time before someone tried to dial 911 and can’t because someone’s cut our line.”