CCTV catches out rail thieves

A thief who stole more than �10,000 worth of copper railway cabling was caught out after CCTV cameras recorded him in the act.

Groundworker Tony Price, 30, and his cousin Terry Price, 31, a motor trader, were both caught stealing the cable from Network Rail’s Hitchin depot in May 2009.

Tony Price, who is currently in prison for another offence, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court on Tuesday and was handed an eight month sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and pay �2,500 compensation to Network Rail.

Terry Price, of Littleport, Ely, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing and was sentenced to 12 months in prison in March.

The court heard how the pair broke into the depot by forcing padlocks open with bolt-croppers before loading four drums and a number of other smaller lengths of copper cabling into a van before making off.

“These men were caught out in broad daylight under the full glare of CCTV cameras,” said investigating officer, Detective Constable Gerry Griffin.

“The footage is so clear that they had little choice other than to hold their hands up to what they doing.

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“Thieves should know that we work very closely with Network Rail in monitoring and improving the security of railway depots, as this case well illustrates,” he added.

Richard Lungmuss, Network Rail route director, said cable theft was a constant drain on the companies resources and the sentences were a “stark warning” to anyone considering stealing it from the railway.

Network Rail, in partnership with Crimestoppers, is offering a reward of up to �1,000 for information which leads to the conviction of railway cable thieves. Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.