02/11/2014 07:39 EST | Updated 04/13/2014 05:59 EDT

Copper stolen from metal art installations

Metal art installations made of copper have started to disappear in what is becoming a more common theft across the city as prices of metal rise.

A huge copper portion of an art installation at Art Eggleton Park, near Montrose Avenue and Harbord Street, has disappeared

Bernd Baldus said he first noticed during one of his daily walks in the park.

“About two weeks ago I came along here and I saw that the copper cladding was missing,” he said.

“These particular installations were supposed to commemorate Garrison Creek, which used to flow right through there and I remember that the total cost was between $100,000 and $120,000.”

The entire back of the mural — more than 200 pounds of copper — was ripped out and stolen.

“I think copper is going for about $10/kg now, scrap copper is very expensive,” said Ray Stuka, parks manager for the district of Toronto and East York.

There have also been copper thefts at hydro stations where thieves climb the towers in order to steal lines of cable.

Last month some copper was also stolen from Christie Pits Park.

As the prices of metal rise, so do the theft occurrences, said Stuka. He added the high price of copper is why the city won’t be replacing stolen copper works with more copper.

“We'll look at other alternative made of other metal, copper colour. So it doesn't have the same value for scrap,” he said.