Thieves made off with a short length of copper wire in Langley Wednesday morning, but it inconvenienced hundreds of residents.
About 350 homes and businesses around the area of 248th Street and 56th Avenue lost phone service when thieves swiped 15 metres of wire at about 5 a.m. Telus crews on scene expected to replace the damaged section by Wednesday evening, said company spokesperson Shawn Hall.
Although the section stolen was small, about 50 metres have to be replaced to bridge the gap, said Hall.
"These thieves are putting our customers' lives at risk, should they need to call 911," said Hall.
He urged anyone who saw anything suspicious around the 5500 block of 248th Street to call the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200.
The good news is that the number of wire thefts is way down this year, said Hall.
There have been about 30 thefts of Telus wire so far this year around British Columbia.
Last year, there were about 300 in total. Hall credited provincial scrap metal recycling rules for drastically cutting down the amount of metal being stolen.
The new rules made it much harder for unscrupulous scrap dealers to accept stolen wire.
Telus has also been "target hardening" its utility poles and wiring to make wire harder to steal, and police have been cracking down as much as possible.
"The Langley RCMP has certainly been taking this situation seriously," said Hall.
@ Copyright 2013