Metal theft sparks evacuation in Retford

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Police are warning about the dangers of metal theft after burglars struck at Retford Squash Club and caused a dangerous gas leak.

The club on Albert Road was evacuated on Monday 6th May after staff came into work to discover burglars had ripped out copper water and gas pipes and smashed sinks.

They left a dangerous gas leak in their wake, which had to be stemmed before anyone could return to the building.

The road had to be closed and two neighbouring properties were also evacuated as a precaution.

Later than day police were called to reports of a fire a derelict business premises, at the junction of Skerry Hill and Scarcliffe Street in Mansfield.

Burglars had entered through the rear of the building and stolen copper gas piping.

The neighbouring chip shop was evacuated and the road closed while the flames were extinguished and area made safe.

PC Stuart Barson, of the Notts Police’s metal theft reduction team, said: “This type of crime is irresponsible and incredibly dangerous. In both of these recent cases there was a substantial risk to life due to a very real chance of an explosion. At the very least it was massively disruptive!”

“We have seen massive decreases in metal theft across Notts over the last year but when it does happen it is not without danger.”

“Metal thieves go after gas and water pipes, lead flashing on roofs, railway tracks, and electricity cables. All highly hazardous materials which if tampered with can have deadly consequences.”

“But they care not for the risk they pose to themselves and others, or the disruption their crimes may cause, and for very little monetary gain at that.”

Officers have made enquiries and are checking local scrap yards for the stolen pipes.

If you have any information, know the whereabouts of the stolen pipes, or suspect anyone of dealing with stolen metal call the metal theft reduction team on 101, extension 805 7165, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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