Fri, 28 Dec 2012
Eight men part of ‘Operation Distillery’, have been jailed for a total of 23 years after causing £500,000 worth of damage and sever train delays by stealing copper cable from the Midlands track network.
The Romanian born criminals targeted train lines between Evesham, Worcestershire, and Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, areas at nighttime to steal the copper power cables.
The risked their own lives by cutting through 650v industrial cabling, and also the lives of rail staff and member of the public by replacing it with domestic cabling brought from DIY shops.
The gang was caught after British Transport Police installed ‘trembler’ anti-theft detectors along the tracks, which helped the police catch two suspects red-handed. The other men were caught afterwards during police raids.
Judge Robert Orme said: “These are clearly very serious offences of theft involving sustained professional offending and requiring in my view a deterrent in the sentence.”
All the defendants were charged with conspiracy to steal.