Vandals Steal Minnesota Rink Pipes, Cause Damage

November 9, 2012

The opening of a popular St. Paul, Minn., ice rink may be delayed after thieves stole copper pipes.

Thieves stole 64 copper pipes from the rink outside the Phalen Recreation Center over the weekend.

A St. Paul Parks and Recreation spokesman tells the Paul Pioneer Press the pipes make up the cooling system of the refrigerated rink and go under the ice, which isn’t in place yet.

Replacing the stolen copper with the same product could cost up to $30,000. Instead, the city is turning to a cheaper, plastic product estimated to cost no more than $20,000 in materials and labor.

Officials still hope to open the rink just after Thanksgiving or in early December.

The Phalen rinks attract about 15,000 visitors each winter season.

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