Railway crime: Police find cable theft suspect hiding in woods near Rotherham, hears Sheffield court

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A 37-year-old man has been given a suspected prison sentence and told to complete a drug rehabilitation order

Police called out to a suspected cable theft from South Yorkshire's railways arrived to find a suspect hiding in woods close to the tracks.

Now, 37-year-old Chad Baldwin has been given a suspected prison sentence by a court in Sheffield for stealing the wire, after a British Transport Police investigation.

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Baldwin, of Masbrough Street, Rotherham, pleaded guilty to theft, obstructing the railway and possession of a class B drug and was sentenced to two months in jail suspended for 18 months by Sheffield magistrates on Monday August 21.

He was also ordered to complete a drug rehabilitation order and do 120 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard how Baldwin's DNA was found to be linked to multiple incidents of cable theft this year at two sites in Rotherham.

On 19 March officers were called to an area of track and discovered the theft of 20 metres of 48 core cable.

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The following day officers were alerted to a cable theft in progress at a different location and when they attended found Baldwin hiding in woods nearby.

Close to the site approximately two metres of cable had been stolen from the side of a bridge. Officers found two hand saws at the scene one which still contained remnants of cable. The DNA on the hand saws belonged to Baldwin.

Baldwin was arrested for theft and during a search an amount of amphetamine was discovered.

Investigating officer PC Matthew France said: "A common misconception is that cable theft is a victimless crime. This is not true - Baldwin's illegal activity resulted in huge delays and disruption to services which impact then everyday users of the railway.

"These delays resulted in Network Rail paying out almost £18,000 to train operating companies - ultimately it is the passenger that pays the price through disruption to their travel plans."