For the second time in as many weeks, metal thieves have targeted the playground of an inner-city elementary school in Surrey, B.C.

The handrails were sawn off a section of a play structure at K.B. Woodward Elementary overnight, but the rails were left behind.

"There's some speculation that it might have been because it wasn't the metal they thought it was or perhaps they were spooked and just ran off, but we have to deal with the mess in any event and the costs associated with repairs," Surrey School District spokesman Doug Strachan told CTV News.

Earlier this month, a slide rail was dismantled and stolen from another playground at the same school. The repairs cost the school district more than $5,000.

Supervisory aide Walter Copak says he's disgusted by the vandalism.

"Anybody who would do that, it's the lowest of the low. It really is," he said. "Stealing playground equipment is despicable."

Parents like Brandy Schlemko aren't impressed, either.

"They're willing to do anything for a buck, even if it means tearing apart property and destroying children's playgrounds. It's kind of unbelievable, really," Schlemko said.

Metal theft has become a problem across the province, as offenders make off with everything from live electrical wires to memorial plaques. While some scrap metal yards won't accept stolen goods, others are not so scrupulous.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Shirley Bond promised legislation to regulate scrap metal sales.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Michele Brunoro