Copper thefts hurt us all

Thieves have stolen three tonnes of copper wire that’s owned by the ratepayers of Hume.

The wire formed the bulk of an electrical cable that Hume City Council had installed at Sunbury Recreation Reserve (Clarke Oval), as part of a major upgrade of McMahon Pavilion.

The new copper was worth $12,000, and cost Council an additional $4,000 to install.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said the culprits had let down every resident of Hume.

“This is an appalling crime, and cannot be tolerated,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“The people responsible went to enormous lengths to steal the copper, after they broke the padlocks to a switchboard and literally pulled the cable out of the ground.

“These individuals are lucky to be alive, because they wouldn’t have known whether the electrical cable was alive or not.

“It’s one of the most foolish things you can imagine, and has cost our community very dearly.”

The theft follows a similar incident in recent weeks at Eric Boardman Memorial Reserve in Sunbury, where individuals ripped out of the ground an electrical cable that powered oval lights.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said both thefts had hurt the sporting clubs which utilise the reserves.

“The cables are obviously essential to illuminate the ovals and power the pavilions which Hume’s local clubs rely on,” she said.

“If the thefts happened in the middle of winter, they could well have halted many training sessions for football clubs based in Sunbury.

“It’s the acts of people who don’t care for anyone else but themselves, and this sort of crime must stop.”

Hume City Council is in the midst of a $1.75 million redevelopment of McMahon Pavilion at Clarke Oval.

The project will deliver new change rooms, umpire rooms, and medical rooms.

It shall also provide a new multi-purpose room that can support community functions, as well as events held by the Sunbury Agricultural Society, and the football, cricket and netball clubs which utilise Clarke Oval.

Cr Patsikatheodorou called on anyone with information about the thefts to contact Victoria Police and Hume City Council.

“I ask every resident of Hume to keep a close eye on anyone who loiters around our reserves in a suspicious manner,” she said.

“If you notice a person at a reserve with a keen interest on switchboards and light poles, please consider whether the matter should be reported.

“Hume City Council works hard to supply and maintain reserves for people of all ages to enjoy, and these recent thefts are crimes that affect all of us.”

Anyone with information about the thefts should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 and Hume City Council on 03 9205 2200.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 4 February 2016

Updated : 1:35 PM, 8 February 2016

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