Bid to seize �500,000 from jailed scrapyard boss
John Phillips A SCRAPYARD boss arrested in a clampdown on the sale of stolen metals, faces having half a million pounds worth of assets seized, police have revealed. A police bid to claim the cash, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, came after David Dutton, 61, was jaile
A SCRAPYARD boss arrested in a clampdown on the sale of stolen metals, faces having half a million pounds worth of assets seized, police have revealed.
A police bid to claim the cash, under the Proceeds of Crime Act, came after David Dutton, 61, was jailed for 16 months for buying 53 boxes of stolen copper and lead at his Gascoigne Road, Barking yard.
Workers at the scrapyard, called LT Mumford, told the Recorder they did not know Dutton had held this level of assets, and pledged to carry on trading.
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British Transport Police said metal thefts were a "significant problem" for utility firms and rail and telecommunications industries, as figures revealed the numbers had nearly doubled from 1,183 in 2006 to 2,249 last year.
BTP said it had seized �40,000, including �20,000 from Dutton, after arresting him and four rogue sellers in a sting operation at the scrapyard, on October 4, 2007.
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Dutton, of Cedric Avenue, Romford, was jailed at Basildon Crown Court on April 7, after admitting four counts of possession of criminal property.
Brothers Sam, John, Hope Price, all from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, and William Eastwood, 65, of Basildon, entered guilty pleas to supplying Dutton with stolen metal and various counts of possession of criminal property.
The Price brothers each received six month sentences, suspended for 18 months. Eastwood was ordered to complete 120 hours' community service.
Det Con Karl Skrzypiec said: "Metal and cable theft, and dealing in stolen metals, is a significant problem for the rail industry, telecommunications providers and utilities. Apart from the economic loss, there are real consequences for businesses and communities."
He added:"Loss of cable on the rail network is a major disruption factor.