Damage amounting to over 20,000 euros has been caused by thefts of approximately 6,300 metres of copper wire from streets in Orihuela. As a result, the thefts have resulted in a serious loss for the town hall, not just for the stolen materials, for the damage caused, but also for the cost of replacement. It has also resulted in severe inconvenience for many local residents who have been left without street lighting.
An investigation into the crime began 4 months ago when reports of broken street lighting began to mount up. They were principally occurring in the areas of San Anton, Camino Viejo de Callosa, Bonanza and Hurchillo as well as the route up to the Diocesan Seminary.
As a result of those investigations the National Spanish Police have now arrested 10 people, nine men and a woman aged between 19 and 33, are all residents of Orihuela. They were allegedly stealing the copper wiring from street lighting to sell on to various scrap yards in the Vega Baja for approximately 3-4 euros per kilo.
They would first remove the electrical covers, pull up the lighting cables from underground before burning off the plastic insulation to display the copper wire.
Although only now made public the arrests were all made during the last week in June. Nine of the alleged perpetrators are accused of seven counts of theft and criminal damage, while the owner of a scrap yard has been charged with receiving stolen goods.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/39840/