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Thieves caught after cutting through power cable

PUBLISHED: 12:23 23 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:14 11 August 2010

A GANG of Romanian thieves broke into an underground tunnel at a power station in Barking and cut through a 32,000 volt cable. The crooks were trying to steal expensive copper, lead, and steel cabling from the National Grid plant in River Road. But their antic

A GANG of Romanian thieves broke into an underground tunnel at a power station in Barking and cut through a 32,000 volt cable.

The crooks were trying to steal expensive copper, lead, and steel cabling from the National Grid plant in River Road.

But their antics set off a burglar alarm and police went to investigate at 2.30pm on Sunday March 23.

They found the eight men inside the tunnels, where they had caused extensive damage by stripping out large quantities of copper wiring.

Power Station bosses estimate the cost of the damage to be more than £85,000.

At Snaresbrook Crown Court on June 12 all eight pleaded guilty to burglary, and were sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on June 13.

They are Nicusor Costeh, 45, Sandu Marin, 29, Eduard Ristache, 25, Pardaian Niculae, 39, Iulian Mihai, 25, Vasile Ivan, 28, Florin Constantin, 36 and Dan Buzdagan, 33. All eight live in Telford Road, Arnos Grove, north London.

Detective Constable Brett Hagen said: "This case involved an organised group of Romanian burglars who intended to steal in excess of £85,000 worth of metal cabling from an operational power station at great risk to their own personal safety.

"Their guilty pleas and subsequent imprisonment send out a strong message that burglaries of this nature will be investigated robustly and punished accordingly.


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