VICTORIA -- Nanaimo RCMP say that a man has been arrested just one day after a massive copper wire theft at community sports fields Wednesday.

Mounties say that information provided to police by the public led officers to a red barn on Beban Park Recreation Centre property on Thursday.

When police entered the barn, they found a man “in the process” of stripping plastic coating on copper wires that were allegedly stolen from light fixtures at the sports fields, located at 2235 Dorman Rd.

Police also found an E-bike at the barn that was reported stolen on Sept. 6 from outside of the Woodgrove Shopping Centre.

After the theft, evening events at the sports fields were cancelled until repairs could be completed.

Now, police say that much of the wiring that was found at the barn can be reused for the sports fields’ light fixtures.

“City of Nanaimo officials assessed the stolen wire and were pleased to discover that most of it was reusable and could be re-installed,” said Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP. “They expect the lights to be up and running in the next couple of days.”

The 31-year-old suspect is now facing two counts of possession of stolen property and one count of breaching an existing undertaking. He has since been released on an undertaking and is scheduled to appear in Nanaimo provincial court on Dec. 1.

On Thursday, before the arrest took place, O’Brien told CTV News that the theft had a serious impact on the community.

“This is a significant disruption to these fields,” he said.

“It’s ridiculous that these people have no regard for anybody else, other than to make a few hundred bucks.” 

With files from CTV News Vancouver Island's Andrew Garland