Trains are latest target of copper thieves’ campaign

CABLE thieves in Doncaster have turned their attention to trains in their quest for valuable copper.

British Transport Police is appealing for information after raiders stole copper straps from a freight train while it was standing overnight in the Balby area.

Officers are investigating after 62 straps were stolen from a train at Belmont Yard, sometime between 9.30pm on Friday, September 2, and 4am on Saturday, September 3.

PC Gareth Swiffen said: “Thieves cut the straps from the freight train while it was stabled overnight.

“Due to their size, the straps themselves are practically worthless, but the damage caused to the train to repair and replace the straps has been estimated at over £3,000.

“The straps are earth bonders which are required to protect the train should it be subject to an electrical power surge.

“This theft has not only caused significant financial loss to the rail company concerned, but also risked the health of employees going about their daily work.

“I would appeal for anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the area, or who has any information regarding this incident, to contact us.”

Officers have been undertaking house to house inquiries in the area and have visited metal recyclers to see if anyone has attempted to sell on the straps.

Anyone with any information about cable theft should contact British Transport Police or Crimestoppers, where they can report the crime anonymously and could receive up to £1,000 reward if their information leads to a conviction.

Contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040, quoting background reference B5/NEA of 09/09/2011, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Meanwhile, police are seeking information about the theft of a kilometre of telecoms cable from Armthorpe Lane, near Barnby, Dun, earlier this week.