By Gord Bowes, News staff
Thieves are forcing the city’s parks department to cut back on its use of copper.
As the price of the metal has gone up, so have thefts, said Tennessee Propedo, Hamilton’s parks manager.
Thieves have been stealing copper electrical wiring from inside light standards for about two years, he said.
Turner Park and Mohawk Sports Park have been among the affected areas.
“A lot of my parks have been targeted throughout the city,” said Propedo.
Rather than putting the coveted copper wire back, the stolen wire is being replaced with the less valuable aluminum type, he said.
The aluminum wire works just as well as copper for the purpose, he said.
Thieves have also been stealing the aluminum bleacher seating at some parks.
The two types of metal are sold to scrap metal dealers; copper is especially desired by thieves as the price has spiked in recent years.
Propedo said the city has been working with police to curb thefts and has taken preventative measures, such as putting a sticker on poles where the copper wire has been replaced.
He asked that anyone who sees suspicious activity report it immediately to police.
City parks staff don’t usually work after dark, he said.
“If you see people coming in, acting like they’re doing work in the park after hours, please call it in and report it,” said Propedo.