03/15/2013 09:36 EDT | Updated 05/15/2013 05:12 EDT

Ditidaht First Nation Power Cut By BC Hydro Due To Wire Theft

VANCOUVER - A substantial theft of copper wire has forced BC Hydro to cut off power to a First Nation on Vancouver Island.

The utility says its crews acted on a complaint and found grounding wire had been stolen from about 300 utility poles along a 62-kilometre stretch of power line along the west coast of Vancouver Island.

BC Hydro says the theft has made electrical distribution equipment for the village of Ditidaht, located near Port Alberni, B.C., unsafe.

It says all available hydro crews will be in the village Saturday to repair poles, and it expects power to be restored sometime in the afternoon.

BC Hydro says crimes like metal theft affect public safety and impact the reliability of the electrical system.

Members of the Port Alberni RCMP are now investigating the incident, and BC Hydro is asking anybody with information on the theft to call police.