CrimeStoppers wants to put an end to thieves’ high-wire act

Theft of trolley wire is dangerous, expensive and causes transit delays

Last month, two teenagers walking in the area of Blanca St. and West 7th Ave. in Vancouver noticed some live 600-volt trolley wires dangling above the sidewalk.

It’s a dangerous occurrence that is happening much too often, say Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers and the Metro Vancouver Transit Police.

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trolley wire theft

There have been more than two dozen trolley wire thefts in Vancouver over the past two years. As well as being potentially dangerous, the thefts cause lengthy service delays and cost up to $50,000 to repair each time.

The wires are used to power the Coast Mountain Bus Company transit buses. They are also made of copper, which is striped from the wire and sold.

Crime Stoppers says the thefts usually occur overnight. “They might appear to be legitimate utility workers and using sophisticated equipment and machinery,” a press release says. They may, however, be using unmarked vehicles.

Crime Stoppers is asking for anyone spotting suspicious activity such as cutting, dragging or chopping wire, or using unmarked vehicles during the night, to call 1-800-222-8477. All calls to the line are anonymous, as are tips received online at

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