Copper thieves strike again

COPPER thieves are wanted following the theft of piping, a tank and a cable detector in separate incidents earlier this month.

The copper piping and tank were stolen from a house on the Lisbane Road in Scarva at some point between December 14 and 15.

A week later a bag containing a cable detector was stolen from a sub station in Dromore’s Barban Hill area. An engineer left the radio detection RD400 cable detector in a grey bag with red trim near the sub station at 5pm but it was gone by 6.30pm.

The detector is described as being in two sections, one around a metre long with red lettering and NIE stickers attached.

Police are appealing to anyone who may have lifted the bag in error or has information about the whereabouts of the detector to contact them on 0845 600 8000.

They have also appealed for anyone who saw suspicious activity in the Lisbane Road area in the previous week to contact them.

There have been a number of copper and cable thefts in Banbridge in the past year. The metal is valuable and thought to be lucrative for thieves on the black market.

A police spokeswoman warned homeowners to be particularly vigilant in the coming months.

“Copper thefts cause complete misery for houseowners as it can often mean serious water damage to a home as well as having your property stolen,” she said. “Receiving timely information from the community is vital in giving us the opportunity to detect those responsible for this type of crime and gather evidence to bring them before the courts.”

The PSNI issued advice on how to keep premises - btoh home and business - safe from would-be thieves.

“Our advice is to secure your home as fully as possible. Home owners should ensure that all windows and doors are locked when the premises are empty and ask neighbours to keep an eye on your property if you know you are going to be away for a while.

“Landlords should check vacant properties regularly and where possible turn off the water supply and remove the tank until the property becomes occupied. Make regular checks of your rental property and ask a neighbour or someone living close by to check the doors and windows every so often.

“Construction companies should take the proper precautions and have new build sites well monitored. Make regular checks of your property and ask a neighbour or someone living close by to check the doors and windows every so often. This is especially important when you consider that copper thefts in the form of hot water tanks and piping can result in significant water damage. This can go unnoticed for days or even weeks if the property is not visited regularly.”