Published: June 11, 2011
Power line thieves leave Burnham Sailing Club with huge repair bill

Burnham-On-Sea Sailing Club has been left with a huge repair bill after thieves ripped up a long length of power line and stole the copper wire inside on Friday night (June 10th).

A total of 130 yards of copper wire running between the club's compound and the pontoons on the River Brue was removed - leaving the club with a repair bill of up to £5,000.

Graham Wills, club treasurer, told "A week ago we received notification that several outboard motors had been stolen from boats in the area so, anticipating some crime, we reintroduced our random patrols along the River Brue. Unfortunately, though, on the one night of the week that we didn't carry out a patrol, 130 yards of electrical wiring has been removed."

"The plastic sheathing has been ripped away from the cable and the thieves have removed the copper wire inside."

"This is a real disaster for our club because we spent a lot of money getting a specialist electrician to lay the cabling in readiness for our new pontoon bridge."

"It's incredibly annoying - the copper is only worth around £150 as scrap metal, but that pales into insignificance compared to the impact on us. This project has been a long time in planning and I think the bill to us could be as high as £5,000."

Police officers visited the club on Saturday to inspect the plastic sheathing for fingerprints and they are also examining part of a discarded metal cutter found at the scene.

Graham added: "It beggars belief that someone actually put their life at risk by cutting through a live power cable - an inch in diameter - just to get the copper inside which is worth so little."

Patrols have been further stepped up in the area and anyone who sees any suspicious activity is being urged to contact 999 if a crime is underway or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to pass on general information.

Graham added: "We are keen to raise awareness of what has happened so that walkers along the river keep an extra special eye out for us and report anything suspicious."

Pictured: Graham Wills inspecting the damaged power line on Saturday


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