What to do if you see metal or wire theft

via Telus

As a Realtor who is plugged into what’s happening in your community, you may have valuable information and not even realize it.

Telus has sent us some tips to share with all members on how to spot metal and wire theft and what you can do if you have information to share with local authorities.

What is metal and wire theft?

Thieves look for metal and/or wire from street lamps, telephone and power lines, vacant buildings, and homes under construction. Look out for covers removed off of street light poles or junction boxes, wires hanging out of covers or compartments, and people transporting, stripping or stealing odd or large amounts of metal and/or wire, and damaging property. Once stolen, thieves will burn and strip the wire to remove identifiable casings.

How does metal and wire theft impact you or your clients?

  • 9-1-1 service disruptions
  • threats to infrastructure and public safety (for example, hospitals and emergency response systems)
  • power outages (for example, electricity, heating, street and traffic lights, highway advance warning signs)
  • communication systems outages (for example, phone, television, and Internet service)
  • increases to service costs and added resource demands
  • construction sites, homes or buildings during renovations, and developments can be targets, increasing costs significantly

What to look for:

  • people transporting odd or large amounts of wire or metal
  • people digging under roadways or underpasses for metal tubing
  • covers removed off street light poles or junction boxes
  • wires hanging out of covers or compartments
  • smell of burning rubber (indicates thieves burning insulation off stolen wire)
  • power lines “down,” or ropes or ladders nearby that may be attempting to pull power lines down

Be a good witness:

Be prepared to answer questions from the RCMP operator when making your call. Remember to take notes and ask for a police file number.

Things to note:

  • vehicle description
  • license plate #
  • suspect description (clothing)
  • time of day
  • direction of travel and any other details

Call 9-1-1 when… a crime is in progress:

  • an individual or group is seen with wire and/or is currently digging or tampering with poles or overhead wires
  • an individual or group is seen stripping or burning wire

Call the Surrey RCMP non‑emergency number at 604-599-0502 if a crime is not currently in progress:

If you come across signs of wire theft, such as digging or prepping to dig around poles, tampering with poles or overhead wires, or piles of burnt wire or casings, let the authorities know.

How to make a report:


Emergency  9-1-1
Crimes in progress  9-1-1
RCMP non-emergency 604‑599‑0502

Crime Stoppers

There are four ways to leave an anonymous tip:

Talk 1‑800‑222‑TIPS (8477)
Type www.solvecrime.ca
Text  Text BCTIP and your tip to CRIMES (274637)
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/metrovancouvercrimestoppers/

City of Surrey

Traffic operations 604-591-4338
Emergency after hours 604-591-4431

BC Hydro

Please report all suspicious activity near substations, transmission lines, distribution boxes, and under bridges.

24-hour phone  1-877-311-8611


Phone line repair  604-310-3131

More information:

Visit Surrey’s website www.surrey.ca/publicsafety.