Metal thieves strip town’s empty homes

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EMPTY homes in Barnsley are being broken into and raided for radiators and boilers by thieves looking for scrap metal to sell on.

Inspector Alan Simpson, who is in charge of neighbourhood policing in Goldthorpe, Thurnscoe, Bolton on Dearne, Wombwell, Darfield and Little Houghton, said officers in the town were “concerned about the amount of metal that is being stolen”.

In a blog he has written on South Yorkshire Police’s website he said: “We are finding that thieves are stealing metal from all sorts of places with a view to selling it.

“As a result we have seen a lot of empty, run down houses being entered and radiators and boilers being stolen.

“We have also seen thefts of metal wiring, pedal cycles, railings and garden ornaments.

“This is due to the current high price being given for metal by dealers.

“All the officers based at the Goldthorpe and Wombwell stations are committed to catching these thieves and those who buy the metal from them.

“We run operations virtually back to back and we work with our officers who provide 24 hour cover. “

He added: “Operation Backpack and Operation Bream have run in this month alone and more are to follow immediately.

“These operations involved officers working throughout the day and night on foot in plain clothes aiming to catch criminals red-handed.

“We have been very successful and a number of people have gone to court.

He said officers were also visiting scrap metal dealers to ensure their operations were all above board.

Insp Simpson said: “We are also targeting our scrap metal dealers to ensure that they are operating strict controls and a checking system.”

Anyone with information about scrap metal thieves in the Dearne Valley area is urged to contact the South Yorkshire Police Dearne Safer Neighbourhood Team at Goldthorpe police station by calling 01709 832138.