Thieves stole wire from Folkingham electricity substation in Billingborough Road
Thieves who stole 30m of copper wire from an electricity substation were only three inches from death.
Offenders appear to have climbed security fencing and then forced their way in to the substation using bolt croppers.
Insp Ian Martin of Bourne Police said that after inspecting the damage at the Western Power Distribution substation in Billingborough Road, Folkingham, experts expressed their surprise that the perpetrator hadn’t been electrocuted.
He said: “This is part of a national increase in metal theft which has included lead being stolen from church roofs.
“The metal is unlikely to be sold on locally, because it is in quite large quantities. However, we do ask people to contact us if they see people behaving suspiciously and appear to be ‘checking out’ a building or area before a crime."
Peter Lowe, Security Co-ordinator at Western Power Distribution said: “Metal theft is incredibly dangerous because of the high voltages involved and thieves are dicing with death to steal metal which in most cases has a relatively small financial value.
“They put at risk the lives of our engineers who have to repair and replace infrastructure left in an unsafe condition.
“It is also incredibly inconvenient for our customers – especially those who have medical conditions, and who may rely on electricity for things like kidney dialysis or oxygen machines – for often when thefts occur power supplies are disrupted.
“We have stepped up our security with CCTV, anti-vandal paint, forensically marking metal and intruder alarms, and we’re working closely with the police.
“Prosecutions for similar offences have taken place and have led to prison sentences. We will always assist the relevant authorities in their prosecutions wherever we can.
“The public can help us too. If people see any suspicious activity at our substations or involving our power lines – including unmarked vans or trucks appearing at unusual hours, they should alert the police."
Anyone who sees anything suspicious can contact Western Power Distribution on the freephone number 105.
If someone has information on the theft from Folkingham substation they can call police on 101 quoting incident number 165 of May 23.