Now gangs cut off the water

THIEVES cut off the water to hundreds of homes when they broke into a pumping station to steal metal cabling.

The raiders’ attack in Smithwell Lane, Heptonstall, left 370 buildings around the HX7 area without water between 6am and 1pm on Sunday.

The disruption to the supply is the latest problem to be caused by cable thieves, who have already caused commuters delays by stealing from railway lines and electricity sub stations. Inspector Allan Raw, who leads the Upper Valley neighbourhood policing team, said: “Crimes like this effect the whole community.

“Investigations are very much ongoing and are being led by officers from CID.

A spokeswoman for Yorkshire Water said: “We have seen the number of metal theft crimes which have taken place at our sites increase over the last few years and it isn’t just the theft that’s a concern, it’s the knock on disruption it can cause to our customers.

“The theft we’ve experienced ranges from the opportunist theft of one of our sewer or hydrant covers, to the organised theft of hundreds of meters of cable or copper pipe, and even larger appliances such as lifting equipment and generators.

“We’re working closely with the police to try and address the problem and would warn any scrap metal dealers not to accept this stolen property.”

Police were alerted to the theft in Heptonstall shortly after 6am on Sunday. Equipment including cabling and electrical panels worth thousands of pounds had been stolen.

Officers found the equipment in a van discovered abandoned nearby a short time later.

Three men - aged 32, 24 and 28 - were arrested in connection with the theft.

A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Police said: “Crimes like this effect the whole community and investigations are very much ongoing.”

As reported by the Courier, police in part of Calderdale have had to step up patrols on an industrial site after an increase in metal thefts.

Hundreds of pounds worth of scrap metal is being taken from garages and factory units at the site on Armitage Road, Brighouse. Officers say some thieves are just walking onto the site and taking equipment which has been left lying around.

Anyone with information about the thefts at Heptonstall or Brighouse should call police 0845 6060606 or CrimeStoppers, where information can be passed on anonymously, on 0800 555111.