THE theft of copper and wiring from three electricity sub-stations in Burnley and Padiham may have had a more sinister motive – to make it easier for burglars to raid homes.
Power was knocked out at hundreds of Burnley and Padiham homes when thieves struck at the sub-stations three times this week. A break-in at the sub-station in Queen’s Park Road, Burnley, in the early hours of Wednesday morning cut off power to 667 buildings for more than two hours.
Then, just after midnight on Thursday, wiring was stolen from sub-stations in Clifton Street, Burnley, and Guy Street, Padiham.
Metal, copper and wiring theft has been a scourge of the town in recent years, but bosses at Electricity North West believe there might also be another motive.
Mr Andy Smith, response manager, said: “The theft of metal and copper is well-documented but the damaging of wires might also be designed to knock power out and subsequently make it easier to burgle homes in the area.
“Thieves that target sub-stations need to realise they are putting their lives at risk and causing massive inconvenience to innocent homeowners.”
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper recently visited Burnley to highlight the growing problem of metal theft.
This week, Ronald Houghton (56), of Kime Street, was jailed for eight months for breaking into a sub-station in Sycamore Avenue. An engineer found live equipment carrying 11,000 volts being removed.