(Nanaimo RCMP)

Police are investigating an incident where hundreds of feet of copper wires were stolen from a turf field in Nanaimo.

In a statement released Thursday, Nanaimo RCMP say 300 to 500 feet of copper wire from lighting fixtures at the City of Nanaimo artificial multi-use turf fields at 2235 Dorman Road were stolen overnight on September 30.

The theft took place sometime between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., and will cost the city a sizeable amount to replace.

“The estimated cost to repair and replace the wiring is in the range of $20,000, and until such time the wiring is replaced, night time use of the fields has been cancelled,” said RCMP.

The theft was reported by City of Nanaimo employees.

Reports suggest the thieves who accessed the wires did so in a way that suggested some prior knowledge of the wiring in the park. Specifically, fibre optic wiring was cut but not removed.

“The fields are a tremendous asset to our community, and are used daily by various sporting groups,” said Cst. Gary O’Brien.

“It is so disheartening to see the extent to which thieves will go, with no thought or regard for the impact their actions have on so many.”

The field will remain closed for several days while repairs are underway.

Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.