A METAL theft crackdown by South Yorkshire Police uncovered tonnes of stolen metal including 25 beer kegs from a house in Skellow.
Between March 8 and 15, officers conducted operations across Doncaster targeting those transporting and trading stolen scrap metal.
More than 200 vehicles were stopped including a driver of a Peugeot 106 and two passengers, all from Bentley, who were arrested after 130kg of stolen lead was found in the vehicle.
At one yard in Doncaster, 48 road signs, ten parking restriction signs, three gas mains, three water pipes and two screens used for securing vacant property were all recovered and identified as stolen. Chief superintendent Bill Hotchkiss said: “Metal theft is not a victimless crime, it causes interruption to the provision of utilities such as electricity, water, gas, telecommunications and rail transport and has a far-reaching impact on communities.
“Those who steal cable are putting themselves in real danger. Railway lines are operational 24 hours a day and trespassing can prove fatal. Strong currents also pass through many cables and can seriously injure anyone who touches them. Those who steal cable are not only risking a prison sentence, they are risking their lives.
“South Yorkshire Police continues to work alongside the scrap metal industry to reduce opportunities for thieves to sell on stolen metal.”
Paul Crowther, deputy chief constable of British Transport Police said: “Every single metal theft is an attack, in some form, on our communities. Whether thieves target lead from a church roof, earthing cable from a power sub-station or broadband cables, it is local residents and businesses who suffer most as it is their services, utilities and community buildings which are destroyed or disrupted.
“When the target is the railway, the thieves are directly affecting the travelling public who use trains to go about their daily business and indirectly affecting businesses and services whose employees are delayed by the disruption.
“This has to stop and co-ordinated action, in tandem with larger-scale projects, will certainly have an impact.
“But this cannot be done in isolation and, thankfully, we are receiving support from Government in the form of legislative change.”