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11/09/2012: Lancashire metal thieves sentenced

A milestone in Electricity North West’s ongoing commitment to crackdown on metal theft has been reached after two men were sentenced for stealing metal last month.

Two men, who stole £7,000 worth of high voltage cabling from an electricity pole in Rossendale, have received 180 hours of unpaid work and an 18 month suspended sentence and after appearing at Burnley Crown Court on Friday 7 September.

The duo were arrested after a member of the public saw them acting suspiciously in a field and contacted the police. Officers attended and the police helicopter was used to help track down one of the men who was hiding in long grass.

Electricity North West Lancashire area manager, Lee Maxwell, said: “Today marks a significant step in the right direction in our crackdown on metal theft.

“We currently have more than one incident of metal theft on the North West’s electricity network every day, and we’re committing more resources than ever to stamp it out.

“Not only is this an incredibly dangerous crime, it also has an impact on the power supplies of residents and businesses. It’s important that we all work together to put a stop to these crimes against our communities, and thanks to a quick-thinking resident and the fast actions of the police these two men were caught. We are asking people to continue being vigilant and report anything suspicious immediately.”

Officer in the case PC Sean Daly, said: “They had both travelled into Rossendale with the intention of committing crime and I hope this case acts as a warning to criminals.

“By cutting into electrical wiring they are not only putting themselves at risk but they are risking the lives of the residents whose homes are connected to the power supply.

“Any residents who see wiring on the floor in open fields should not go near it but contact police and Electricity North West.”

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or Electricity North West’s emergency 24-hour number on 0800 195 4141.

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