Updated: 11/07/2012 10:25 PM KSTP.com By: Ellen McNamara
A favorite winter spot for many families in the Twin Cities could be opening a lot later than expected.
A thief stole copper pipes outside The Phalen Recreation Center, and that could push back the opening of the ice rink.
64 copper pipes were stolen, and replacing them along with repairing the cooling system for the ice rink could cost more than $20,000.
The stolen tubes added up to 256 feet of copper.
The pipes that were stolen a few days ago are part of the cooling system of the refrigerated ice rink that about 15,000 people visit in the winter.
In fact, the rink is one of the most popular spots in St. Paul for families to skate.
The parks and recreation department is disappointed and hopes anyone with information will call police.
The rink usually opens around Thanksgiving. If the opening is delayed, the information will be posted on the city's website.
In the meantime, the department hopes to come up with a new system that does not need copper pipes to cool the rink.