(Stock photo)

Cowichan Valley RCMP investigating ‘dangerous’ thefts from traffic lights

At least four cases where batteries were stolen from lights or electronic signs

Police in the Cowichan Valley are investigating a series of “dangerous” thefts of batteries from traffic control devices in recent months.

There were four such incidents between July and October 2020, where batteries were stolen from devices such as traffic lights and electronic construction signs, said Sgt. Trevor Busch of the North Cowichan/Duncan detachment. They took place in locations ranging from Shawnigan Lake to intersections of the Trans-Canada Highway in Duncan.

“Traffic control devices are crucial to keeping our roadways safe for motorists and pedestrians,” Busch said. “Theft and damage to these devices is not only illegal, but also extremely reckless and dangerous.”

Any time a traffic control device is inoperable, the location should be reported to the local police non-emergency line.

Drivers are also cautioned to remember the rules when traffic lights or other devices are not working.

“If you approach an uncontrolled intersection, or a flashing red traffic control light, this should be treated like a four-way intersection and everyone must come to a complete stop,” Busch advised. “If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the one on the right goes first when it’s safe to do so.”

Anyone with information about these crimes is urged to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

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