Two ex-BT subcontractors turned copper cable thieves became croppers when caught by local cops in Cambridge.
The pair had lifted over 100 meters of copper out of the ground, posing as legitimate engineers. However when they failed to provide local police officers with the right paperwork their ruse was blown. The stolen metal, plus the cost of engineering work to replace it, was valued at £2,000.
Read Recombu Digital’s report on Broadband Cable Theft and BT’s anti-theft RABIT technology
PC Andrew Moralee, speaking to Cambridge News said that no-one’s broadband or phone services were disrupted as a result of the cable theft despite the damage caused. The pair were busted thanks to a member of the public calling in allowing the police to catch them in the act.
The men were sentenced to four months’, suspended for 12 months, 240 hours community service and were ordered to hand over their tools. Cable theft has been a real problem for local constabularies and BT, whose copper-based broadband network is a frequent target for those hoping to make a mint on the scrap metal market.
The Scrap Metal Dealer’s Bill has proposed reforms to make it harder for people to deal in scrap without a licence and BT’s own initiatives have proved effective in catching some cable thieves in the act. Last year we heard how cable theft in the north of England had a knock-on effect as far afield as the Shetlands, causing residents hundreds of miles away from the scene of the crime to lose broadband and phone services.