Scrap metal ring may pay �500k
POLICE are seeking half a million pounds in confiscation after busting a ring of illegal scrap metal dealers. Five men were given harsh penalties after being convicted for a string of thefts and illegal dealings with stolen copper and lead. David Dutton,
POLICE are seeking half a million pounds in confiscation after busting a ring of illegal scrap metal dealers.
Five men were given harsh penalties after being convicted for a string of thefts and illegal dealings with stolen copper and lead.
David Dutton, 61, from Romford, Essex, admitted four counts of possession of criminal property.
The scrap metal dealer, who runs L.T. Mumford, Gascoigne Rd, Barking, was jailed for 16 months at Basildon Crown Court on April 7.
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Four other men, brothers Sam Price, 25 from Dunstable, John Price, 25 from Leighton Buzzard and Hope Price, 23 from Dunstable, and William Eastwood, 65 from Basildon, pleaded guilty to supplying Mr Dutton with stolen metal and other counts of possession of criminal property.
The Price brothers each received a six month sentence suspended for 18 months. Eastwood was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid community service.
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In October 2007, the Price brothers stole 53 boxes of cable from an electronics company in High Wycombe.
They had sold the cable to David Dutton at L T Mumford's yard within hours of the burglary.
British Transport Police (BTP) had warned Dutton as early as March 2007 about dealing in stolen metals.
Covert police observations in October 2007, however, revealed that the illegal activities had continued.
Officers stopped a vehicle driven by Sam Price, with his two brothers as passengers, and a lorry driven by Eastwood, which contained �4,000 in cash.
Police believe this was the proceeds from a stolen BT cable sale.
The men were arrested and stolen metals were seized.
Officers also found �40,000 in cash
The BTP is now starting proceedings to confiscate around �500,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Detective Inspector Karl Skrzypiec said: "Metal and cable theft and dealing in stolen metals is a significant problem,
"Apart from the economic loss, there are real consequences for businesses and communities.