A gang of five men has been jailed for a total of 22 years after stealing £120,000 of copper cables from remote electricity substations and farms, it has been reported.
The men were involved in 14 incidents in three months in 2012 in Ribble Valley, Lancashire, according to The Daily Mail. Thefts took place at the rural sites of Clitheroe, Ribchester, Sabden, Dinckley, Hurst Green and Whalley. The stolen cabling was worth £28,000 and the cost of restoring it was £90,000.
The gang members were all from Birmingham. Alexandru Codrut Tudor, 21, Mahai Georgian Antonala, 28, Alexandru Beligan, 28, Marius Avaram, 48, and Gabriel Predusca, 24, all admitted conspiracy to steal.
Beligan, described by a judge as the ‘driving force’ behind the plot, was jailed for six years. Antonala got four and a half years, Tudor and Avaram were each given four years and two months and Predusca received 44 months.
The men were caught on 3 July last year, while travelling on the M6 late at night. Four of the defendants were found in the lead car with incriminatingdocumentation, addresses and postcodes of sites where cables had been stolen. The van that was following had hundreds of feet of copper wiring in the back.