WHALLEY - A Surrey family physician is considering hanging his shingle elsewhere because copper thieves are driving him to distraction.
"It's really ridiculous," said Dr. Lawrence Yang, of Gateway Medical Centre.
"I'm getting fed up." Yang and his fellow doctors were treating patients by candlelight earlier this week after metal thieves struck the clinic, which happens to be across from the RCMP District 1 office on King George Boulevard.
"Hundreds of patients were affected," Yang said.
The medical centre treats about 200 patients each day, and the physiotherapist treats roughly 20 more, at 10751 King George Blvd.
Yang said the thieves must have struck some time early Monday morning. They cut into some wire on a private hydro pole, on the clinic's property, and then waited for BC Hydro to come turn off the electricity for safety reasons. They then returned early Tuesday to steal about five metres of braided copper wire.
The clinic hired an electrician to fix the problem, which took about 48 hours to resolve.
Yang said the clinic contacted the RCMP for help.
"They said there's nothing they can do. The RCMP told me this is a common type of theft."
He added that the Mounties told him the thieves will likely strike again.
For all Yang knows, these thieves might be among his patients. He said he's trying his best to help people downtown, but is growing increasingly tired of people in the community "messing with me."
He can't fathom why thieves would target a medical clinic, of all things.
Surrey is "in dire need" of family doctors, Yang noted.
But if metal thieves don't stop targeting his clinic, he says, "I'm thinking of leaving Surrey."
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