June 26, 2015 12:56 am
Updated: August 6, 2016 1:14 am

BC Hydro says would-be downtown thieves tried to cut a live power line

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WATCH: BC Hydro says the thieves who tried to steal copper wire in downtown Vancouver last Sunday were lucky to escape with their lives. John Daly reports.

Early Sunday morning, much of Gastown was temporarily without power after metal thieves attacked a live BC Hydro line.

The thieves failed, but some areas on Water Street didn’t have power until 3:30 that afternoon.

BC Hydro spokesperson Simi Heer says it’s a reminder of the danger metal thieves pose.

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“It poses a danger not only to the thieves, because they’re risking serious injury or even death, but also the public. A member of the public may stumble upon equipment that’s been tampered with, and BC Hydro doesn’t know about it yet. It’s a huge safety concern for our crews.”

Metal theft has dropped significantly since the provincial government enacted legislation earlier this decade, forcing scrap-metal dealers to keep records on who they buy from.

But it continues to be a persistent problem around Metro Vancouver. Vancouver Police Cst. Brian Montague says there were 70 reports in the city for the first six months of this year, compared to 60 in the first six months of 2014.

“It doesn’t appear to be a huge problem on the surface, but we do think this is a highly under reported crime,” he says.

Montague says whomever tried and failed to steal the metal in this case got lucky.

“Surprisingly we didn’t find a body with this attempted theft.”

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