Plaque thief could cost city thousands

By James Peters / Chad Harris / Jill Sperling
May 23, 2017 - 3:00pm Updated: May 23, 2017 - 6:10pm

KAMLOOPS — The City of Kamloops is confirming thousands of dollars in historical plaques have been stolen from parks and public landmarks over the past few months.

Parks and Civic Facilities Manager Jeff Putnam says another rash of thefts was reported from Riverside Park this past weekend.

But Putnam notes the cost to replace the plaques is not the most troubling aspect of the crime spree.

"It's obviously a concern on a couple of levels. First of all, it is a lot of public heritage and there is a lot of value in that, that had been stolen. As well as it is very costly for the taxpayer to replace these. We are obviously very concerned," said Putnam.

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Putnam says it's likely the plaques are desirable to a thief for the value of the metal.

"It started a couple of months ago, particularly in Riverside Park. We noticed a lot of the memorial benches and historical plaques were stolen. We presume it's for the value of the metal."

"I understand the original Fort Kamloops plaque has now been stolen as well. It signifies a lot of cultural and historical information that is quite valuable, so it is really unfortunate."

He adds the city is discussing how best to replace the plaques in a way that will make them less desirable or accessible to those with nefarious intentions.

"We are certainly thinking about the type of material we are going to use to replace these now. If I was to add up all these stolen plaques, it's not in the hundreds, it would be in the thousands of dollars. Plus, the time to get all the information back, it would be a lot of administrative time as well."

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