Monday, 19 December 2011

Rail thieves may be posing as rail workers, say police

Police believe that a series of cable thefts that have occurred on rail lines in the Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold, Honeybourne and Evesham areas of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, have been carried out by a sophisticated team of thieves possibly posing as rail staff.

“They clearly have some specialised knowledge and it would take them time to carry out the thefts,” said Detective Chief Inspector John Pyke from British Transport Police’s Wales and Western Area.

“That makes us think that they may be posing as rail engineers so as not to arouse suspicion.”

The thieves have primarily targeted signaling cable, causing disruption to the network as well as expensive replacement costs. They have also left cabling in a dangerous condition, which could cause injury to others.

“We believe they are responsible for at least four incidents so far, at Chipping Campden on 15 November, at Eckington on 3 December, at Honeybourne on 8 December and at Evesham on 14 December: possibly more. They choose very rural locations and must be using one or more vehicles to take the cable away.

“We need members of the public who live near lines in those areas to report any activity they see that might be connected with this type of crime – whether the people involved are wearing railway high visibility jackets or not. We can quickly check whether they are bona fide engineers. Abandoned vehicles near to rail lines are also of interest to us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040 quoting reference B8 of 19 December. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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