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[Stolen] 'Professionals' target SVR in £70,000 copper plate theft

Discussion in 'Thief Watch' started by Pete Thornhill, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    COPPER sheets worth between £50,000 and £70,000 have been stolen from the Severn Valley Railway’s Bridgnorth Boiler Works in an audacious night-time raid said to have been ‘pre-planned and highly professional’.

    The gang broke into Bridgnorth boiler shop on Thursday January 20th through an air vent after first disabling a security alarm, and then hot-wired the 30-ton capacity overhead gantry crane, using it to lift eleven 5/8th and one-inch gauge copper sheets into a van or lorry which they had reversed into the building.

    The copper sheets, of varying sizes up to 10ft x 6ft and weighing an estimated six tons in total, had been cut to size and designated as replacement sections for the fireboxes of several locomotives, including Fowler ‘Jinty’ No.47383 and Stanier 8F No.48773. The railway is offering a £5,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of the stolen copper.

    The thieves had made an earlier, unsuccessful attempt to break into the boiler shop just 24 hours before, as a result of which the SVR immediately brought in specialist advisors to take a hard look at existing site security

    Undeterred by their failure however, the thieves returned later that same night, using two ladders - one propped on top of another - to smash the security alarm 16 feet up on the outside wall of the building, and broke down the reinforced air-vent grille to gain access to the works.

    Not content with the ‘raw’ copper sheets, the gang also stole a made-up outside steam pipe from another locomotive - Hawksworth 0-6-0PT No.1501 - and even took the chains from the gantry crane. Scene of Crime officers from West Mercia Police have been studying scrapes on the wall of the Boiler Shop thought to have been caused by a vehicle, and footprints in the dust on the floor.

    The theft, believed to have taken place some time after midnight, was discovered by SVR loco driver and permanent way man Bob Toy at around 7.30am last Friday morning. Following the raid, the SVR moved swiftly to install new security arrangements at Bridgnorth and at other sites on the railway, and a new, much-tightened regime of procedures has been put into effect.


    Anyone with any information is asked to contact the railway on 01299 403816 or email gmsec@svr.co.uk.

    Alternatively, Please contact West Mercia police on 0300 333 3000 Quoting the incident reference - 22FJ/4479T/11
     

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