The Regina Police Service is advising the public, particularly owners of compounds and contractors at construction or renovation sites, of a number of recent thefts in which copper wire or copper pipe was the thieves’ main objective. Copper and other metal prices have increased in recent years, making copper an increasingly lucrative target for criminals.
Since the start of 2012, the Regina Police Service has received 15 reports of Break and Enter to compounds, vacant houses or homes under construction. The property stolen has been copper wire or copper pipe. Ten of the 15 reports involved compounds and, of these nine were in the northeast part of the city. Typically, the compounds have gates and fences and the suspects gain entry by cutting a lock on the gate or cutting a hole in the fence. In many of these cases, the amount of property stolen is large enough and heavy enough that there would have to be a suspect vehicle involved. Most of these thefts occur in the late-night, early-morning hours and the majority of thefts have taken place on weeknights (just a few on weekends).
The Regina Police Service reminds the public to be on the lookout for any activity that seems suspicious. In this case, an example might be a vehicle arriving at a work site that is clearly shut down for the day and people circling a house or compound looking to find a way in. Make observations and call 777-6500 to report the suspicious activity. If you see a crime in progress, call 9-1-1. In addition, property owners can help to deter this type of crime by removing the opportunity. For example, a truck loaded with copper wire parked in a compound is not as secure as the same truck, unloaded. Store copper wire in a locked building, instead of leaving it in sight, in a compound. Finally: a reminder that all thefts should be reported to police as soon as possible.