Cable theft gang jailed for 10 years

12/07/2013

An organised gang of metal thieves have today been sentenced to a total of 10 years and three months at Birmingham Crown Court after they had all pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the theft of railway copper cable.

Florin Tutu, aged 24, was sentenced to three years; Florin Pelesi, 31, was sentenced to 21 months; Adrian Boteanu, 36, was jailed to two and a half years; and Aurel Gabriel Gavrila, 25, was given three year jail term.

All of the four defendants had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal railway cable between 31 May 2012 and 22 November 2012 between Rugby and Coventry as well as the Hampton-In-Arden area. 

The gang targeted redundant cable, which was stripped then sold on as scrap metal. The value put by the police on stolen cable is in excess of £350,000. However, the amount of money the thieves received when they weighed the cable in at scrapyards was £38,000.

Following an investigation by British Transport Police (BTP), with the assistance of Network Rail, the four men were arrested and later charged.

Neil Fielding, Special Casework Lawyer from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's Complex Casework Unit, said:

"These four defendants were part of a highly organised gang which targeted the rail network in the Midlands in order to steal railway cable which was not in use.

"The costs of such offending cannot be fully quantified in terms of the value of cable stolen alone, the impact on the public ranges from increased travel costs and inconvenience caused by delays to train services - to danger of serious harm as a result of the careless actions of such thieves.

"West Midlands CPS has worked closely with BTP in relation to this and similar cases to ensure that such offenders are brought to justice. We continue to do so and will seek to prosecute further suspects where evidence is available, in accordance with guidelines on metal theft set out by The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer."