Pincher Creek RCMP are asking the public to stay out of the Cottonwood Campground for the next three days, following a copper wire theft that knocked out power to the entire site.
Alberta Parks, which operates the campground near the Oldman River Dam, reported the theft Thursday, May 4, according to Const. Rachel Welsh.
Dave Hagedorn, Alberta Parks chief ranger for southwestern Alberta, said Thursday afternoon that crews will be on-site through the weekend to determine the extent of the damage.
It remains to be seen if the damage will significantly impact the site’s availability this season, he said.
Welsh said copper wire thefts are common in the area, adding that thieves recently targeted wind turbines at a wind farm near Pincher Station.
The campground theft damaged several electrical panels on-site, all of which have to be replaced, she said.
Mounties are actively investigating both wire thefts.
Welsh said the campground theft happened sometime after the campground closed last September.
The campground’s main entrance was then closed to vehicle traffic, but Welsh said Alberta Parks kept another gate open so that parents could access a children’s play area on the campground’s east side. The campground is popular among young families and dog walkers and is easily accessible on foot, she continued.
Anyone who thinks they’ve spotted suspicious activity at or around the campground is asked to phone Pincher Creek RCMP’s non-emergency line at 403-627-6010.
Alberta Crime Stoppers welcomes anonymous tips at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), online at p3tips.com, or through the P3 Tips app, which is available for download through the Apple Store and Google Play.