1. ITV Report

Police hunt for angle grinder thieves

Credit: British Transport Police Photo:

Detectives have released dramatic CCTV footage which shows thieves smashing into railway ticket machines with angle grinders and pickaxes.

British Transport Police are hunting the gang behind six raids across London and Hertfordshire, in which ticket vending machines were smashed with pickaxes and angle grinders.

More than £3,000 was stolen and £100,000 of damage was caused at small stations in the early hours of the morning.

Police have released images of the suspects, believing the same gang is behind a string of incidents:

  • 19 April: Brookmans Park. Stolen: £785 Damage: £23,500
  • 21 April: Bayford. Stolen: £0 Damage: £23,500
  • 18 May: Watton-at-Stone: Stolen: £156 Damage: £7,500
  • 18 May: Oakleigh Park: Stolen: £775 Damage: £23,500
  • 19 May: Hadley Wood: Stolen: £667 Damage: £23,500
  • 23 May: Welham Green: Stolen: £855 Damage: £7,500
Credit: British Transport Police
Credit: British Transport Police
Credit: British Transport Police

Detective Constable Nick Thompson, who is leading the investigation, has warned the public not to approach suspects, but rather to contact British Transport Police. He said it is likely they will be armed with heavy machinery. He added:

[A gang of three men] target smaller stations in the early hours when there are no staff on duty and the last train has gone. They arrive as a group, head straight to the automatic ticket vending machines and set about a sustained attack using heavy-duty cutting equipment and pick axes.The money stolen in these attacks really does pale into insignificance when you consider the cost of the damage – which is estimated as thirty-three times the value of the cash taken. These thefts haven’t just hit the rail industry financially, they’ve also caused disruption and inconvenience to passengers, with ticket machines taken out of service for repairs.

– Detective Constable Nick Thompson