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14th January 2008
Scrap man hit by fine
A scrap dealer has become the first in the Black
Country to be prosecuted under a new crackdown on metal theft after
15 stolen beer kegs were recovered from his business.
John Brummell, of Summer Hill, Kingswinford, was
and ordered to pay £1,616 costs. Stainless steel kegs were
found at J and D Industrial, Dixon Street, Parkfields, Wolverhampton.
They were found in a raid on May 3 2007.
He is one of several dealers tackled by police trying to put a
hole in a market, which has seen everything from brass door knobs
to catalytic converters stolen. Officers have been examining records
at Black Country dealers to check for unscrupulous deals.
After the raid on Brummell's yard, the 57-year-old was convicted
of handling stolen property at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Supt Laurie Dyer, spearheading Operation Steel, the taskforce
set up to crackdown on the spiralling epidemic, said he was delighted
with the outcome.
He said: “This is the first dealer to be prosecuted since the
launch of Operation Steel and we hope it sends a clear message
to others that the theft of metal and the handling of stolen
goods within the industry will not be tolerated.”
More than 300 people have now been arrested under Operation
Steel, the West Midlands Police crackdown on metal theft.
Crooks have cashed in on soaring prices of copper and lead which
have been fuelled by construction booms in the Far East. Churches
and school roofs have been stripped of lead, copper has been
taken from sub-stations, supermarket trolleys have been stolen,
lorry loads hijacked and cars pinched and scrapped to cash in
on the rising cost of metal.
It was announced last week a national operation is to be set
up to tackle the explosion, led by British Transport Police,
which said theft of rail signalling copper had become its biggest
problem after terrorism.
If you have any information regarding the theft or misappropriation
of kegs, casks or dispense gas cylinders then please contact Keg
Watch on freephone number 0808 100 1945 or email. Your call or
email will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Reprinted from The Express and Star 24/10/07
Further information can be found by contacting
Keg Watch Limited either by telephoning 0808 100 1945
or by visiting the web site www.kegwatch.co.uk.