Fifteen arrests in police swoop on £2m cable theft gang

Grant Prior 11 years ago

Fifteen people have been arrested in Sunderland as part of a major investigation into cable theft in the North East.

More than 90 British Transport Police officers swooped during a series of dawn raids yesterday as part of the Operation Leopard crackdown on cable theft from the railways.

One of those arrested is believed to be a Network Rail employee.

Detailed house searches followed the arrests at 12 addresses and a number of items were seized and removed for forensic examination, including mobile phones, computers and laptops, receipts and bank statements.

Detective Inspector Stuart Mellish, heading up the operation said: “These arrests follow a complex eighteen-month investigation by officers from Operation Leopard.

“We believe this organised gang have been working together to steal cable, valued in the region of over £2m, from across England over the past two years.

“Railway cable theft is blighting our infrastructure and disrupting the lives of ordinary people on a daily basis, but we have teams of officers dedicated to tackling the problem and who have been really effective.

“Recently we’ve seen significant reductions in cable-related offences on the railway in the North East – a 69% reduction, which is great news.”

DI Mellish added: “We’re also arresting more and more thieves and putting them before the courts. However, we’re not complacent and, as today’s operation shows, our work to tackle these suspected thieves will continue.

“I’d like to thank members of the public for their ongoing support in helping us in tackling this crime and ask that people continue to report any suspicious behaviour near the railway, or in their communities, to police so we can work together to drive this crime down further.”

Fourteen people, 11 men aged 43, 42, 41, 38, 37, 36, 30, 28, 28, 25, and 24, and three women, aged 27, 27 and 18, were arrested in the Sunderland area. A 50-year-old man was also arrested in Osmotherley, North Yorkshire.

Prior to their arrest today, four of the men, aged 38, 28, 28 and 41, were arrested on Saturday, 23 March 2013 in connection with the theft of 750 metres of railway cable from the Manton Lane area, near Crossgates, Leeds.

They were detained after two vehicles they were travelling in were intercepted on the M1 motorway near Harrogate.

Both vehicles were seized, and a number of items were taken for forensic examination following a search of the vehicle and their home addresses, including mobile phones, laptops, clothing, and cutting tools.

All four men were questioned and released at that time on police bail pending further enquiries until 24 April 2013. They have now been further arrested on suspicion of other offences and remain in custody at this time.

Latest news

Former Crossrail boss Mark Wild to lead HS2

Wild to bear down on spiralling costs and bring rejigged scheme in on time
9 hours ago

Receivers in at £125m Manchester tower developer

Domis Construction walked away from scheme following doubts over funding
1 day ago

McAlpine pulls out of £55m Carlisle Citadels project

University of Cumbria starts hunt for replacement contractor
5 days ago

Strabag UK suffers further big trading loss

Austrian contractor is gearing up for major presence in the UK market
4 days ago

Durham Uni picks UPP for £130m student scheme

Firm will deliver 1,000 self-catered bed spaces
4 days ago

Architects now upbeat after 10-months of work gloom

Larger practices see rising workloads in next three months
4 days ago

Motorist dies after collision with road paver

Police Scotland investigating fatal crash
4 days ago

McLaren Living appoints HG Construction for £69m scheme

Build to Rent scheme will transform former vacant car park site in Leeds city centre
5 days ago

Squibb liquidator probes £2m of “missing” plant

Machinery, cars and scrap metal have disappeared at demolition specialist
5 days ago

Galliford Try to re-enter affordable homes market

Contractor sets out new five-year plan to build margin to 4%
5 days ago

Former Sellar chief to lead civils contractor Kilnbridge

Owen Dannatt joins as new CEO as founder Dermot McDermott becomes Chairman
5 days ago

Hunt starts for nuclear fusion plant construction partner

Fusion energy plant to be built at West Burton coal power station site.
5 days ago

National Grid raises £7bn for big infrastructure upgrade

Rights issue to fund a major round of capital investment in energy infrastructure
5 days ago

Grenfell police probe to last at least until end of 2025

19 companies and 58 individuals could eventually face charges
5 days ago

Mace confirmed on £100m London office retrofit

Work underway on Helical's 100 New Bridge Street job near Ludgate Circus
6 days ago

Wylfa chosen for next big nuclear power station build

Government names Anglesey site for a large-scale gigawatt nuclear power plant.
6 days ago

Bowmer & Kirkland trading profit halves

Contractor buys HVAC specialist Adcock despite challenging market
6 days ago

Piling specialist Van Elle plans further job cuts

Piling specialist plans further cost savings in face of lower demand
6 days ago

Civils contractor A Catlow files administration notice

High voltage cable specialist lodges court notice
6 days ago

Green light for ARC Oxford lab campus

Work to start later this year on £40m Ascent building job
6 days ago

Stonehenge tunnel hit by another legal delay

Court upholds latest appeal against £1.7bn scheme by campaigners
7 days ago

Plans go in for huge Olympic Park construction hub

Bow Goods Yard could deliver 3.5m tonnes of materials a year to sites across London
7 days ago

40% affordable homes target for Labour’s new towns

Labour pledges to select new town sites by end of first year
7 days ago

Plan for £100m Liverpool Baltic station

Construction work could begin next year
7 days ago

Surgo Construction went down owing £4.5m

Biggest creditor is Bellway Homes after dispute on housing job
7 days ago

Vistry seals £157m West London housing deal

Around 575 homes to be built at Merrick Place scheme in Ealing
7 days ago

Streamlined Watkin Jones returns to profit in first half

Multi-room specialist sees secured work pipeline hit £1.4bn
7 days ago

Bellway hires ex-brickie as group construction chief

James Griffin to oversee move to the Future Homes Standard and timber frame.
7 days ago

Persimmon under fire for delays to £10m relief road

West Suffolk Council serves Breach of Condition Notices after timetable slips again
7 days ago

BAM wins £33m Kent secondary school job

Replacement Swanley academy to be built at live school site
7 days ago

Contractor services