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Police launch crackdown on metal thieves

PUBLISHED: 10:18 27 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:12 06 July 2010

DETECTIVES in Suffolk have pledged to crack down on criminals targeting buildings for scrap metal, as it emerged nearly £600,000 worth of copper and lead have been stolen over the past five years.

DETECTIVES in Suffolk have pledged to crack down on criminals targeting buildings for scrap metal, as it emerged nearly £600,000 worth of copper and lead have been stolen over the past five years.

Police said that between 2005 and 2009, there were 587 reports of metal theft across Suffolk with items to the combined value of £584,183 taken from farms, businesses and homes, to be sold on.

The high rate of offences has continued this year - thought to be due to the rising value of scrap metal - and a force spokesman urged people to be vigilant.

“Throughout Suffolk, officers are investigating thefts of lead, copper, scrap and other metal items from used and unused premises,” she said.

“The value of scrap metal has increased over time and owners should be vigilant in protecting their property and that of their neighbours.

“Where possible it is advised to use security lighting to deter thieves, and CCTV can also deter, as well as capturing images of offenders and their vehicles.”

Scrap metal dealers have also been contacted and urged to help police trace anyone suspected of selling items thought to be stolen.

The spokesman added: “Officers are also working closely with scrap dealers county-wide to identify anyone bringing in stolen metal.”

Anyone with information about a crime should call Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

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