Littleport man jailed for copper theft

PUBLISHED: 10:07 28 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:02 28 June 2010

Terry Price

Terry Price

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BUNGLING thieves who stole more than £10,000 worth of copper railway cabling were caught out after CCTV cameras pictured them in the act.

Tony Price

BUNGLING thieves who stole more than £10,000 worth of copper railway cabling were caught out after CCTV cameras pictured them in the act.

Cousins Tony Price, 30, of no fixed address, and Terry Price, from Littleport, were spotted by CCTV cameras stealing four large drums of copper cabling from a Network Rail depot in Hitchin, Hertfordshire in May last year,

The prolific pair broke into the depot by forcing padlocks open with bolt-croppers on the morning of Saturday May 2.

Terry Price, who was wearing striped jumper, and Tony Price who wore a high-visibility jacket, then loaded four drums and a number of other smaller lengths of copper cabling into a white Transit 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.

“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.

Terry Price, 31, was identified and arrested after the images were circulated to BTP intelligence officers across the country and compared with custody images already held by police.

Officers then established that the accomplice pictured with him on camera was likely to be Terry’s main associate and cousin, Tony Price.

Det Con Griffin said that stealing metal from the railway or from the wider community is not a victimless crime.

“It has a number of knock on effects that can cause misery, from rail delays and power cuts to disruption to phone and communications networks,” he said.

“Metal theft is a serious offence and we will push for the strongest penalties for those who engage in it.”

Motor trader Terry Price, of Hale Fen, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months in jail at an earlier hearing in March of this year.

Tony Price, pleaded guilty and was handed a eight month sentence, suspended for two years, on June 22, at Luton Crown Court.

He was also ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £2,500 compensation to Network Rail.

Network Rail, in partnership with the charity 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.

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