Cable gang put train safety in jeopardy
An organised gang dedicated to the theft of copper cabling across Spain put the safety of trains and maintenance workers at serious risk, say police.
Six people have already been charged, with another seven imputed, and further arrests are likely.
At least 30 incidents of theft have been detected across the mainland and 4,750 kilograms of copper wiring recovered. This alone is worth around 71,000 euros.
Police began the investigation last August after reports of various robberies in the municipalities of Sagunto and Carcaixent (Valencia).
Surveillance teams soon realised the thefts were linked to others in Spain and detected a network with at least 13 members, split into two groups, one of them based in Pamplona and the other in Madrid.
The six people charged are aged between 25 and 32, five of them are Romanian and the other Spanish.
The other seven imputed include six more Romanians whom police believe acted as the link for selling the copper cabling and establishing contacts.
The wiring was stolen both from street lighting and the railways where alarms were cut to avoid detection. The cabling was used in signals and train approaching alarms so without it, put lives in real jeopardy.