Weston tip ransacked 'almost daily' for metal and electrical goods
PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 September 2011
DESPERATE people are scavenging thrown-away metals and electrical goods from a Weston tip in the hope of gaining a few pounds.
Nearby residents say the skip, at the May Gurney-run household recycling centre off Aisecombe Way, is broken into on an almost daily basis and that unwanted parts are left strewn around the area next to the plant and their homes.
The continued break-ins are part of a region-wide trend which has seen Avon and Somerset Constabulary arrest 25 people across the region in connection with stolen metal in the past week.
The site is next to the Hutton Park site, on which there are around 75 residential mobile homes, and residents say they see people breaking into the site throughout the week.
One of the residents, Bill Tasker, said: “It happens almost every day, there are people who go in through the same entrance to the skip, and take away electrical goods and bits of metal.
“There was a big flat-screen television in there which someone took out, took to pieces to get the valuable bits, and then dumped the rest of it outside.”
Another resident, John Terry, said: “There’s one person in particular who I have seen at the site almost ever other day, she parks up her car, goes in there to grab things and then drives off again.
“We have tried talking to both the owners of the skip and the police about measures to stop this from happening, but nothing seems to have been done.”
Last week a 43-year-old woman was handed a six-month community order with four-week curfew for stealing items from the site.
Sarah Guyett-Brown, from Coleridge Road, Weston, was found guilty at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges of two counts of theft after stealing items including car batteries, cables and stripped wire in May, while she had no extra penalty on two counts of trespassing.
A spokesman for May Gurney said: “We are aware of these incidents and are working with the police in their investigations and undertaking a review of our on-site security measures.”
Police officers swooped on more than 40 scrap metal dealerships across the force area on September 12, arresting 25 people for offences including handling stolen goods, money laundering and theft.
Inspector Ray Hulin said: “There has been an increase nationally and we aren’t complacent - we hope the actions of September 12 send a clear and direct message to those involved in metal theft and those who handle stolen goods - we will be continuing to use an intrusive approach in dealing with criminals who are making a lot of money at the cost and inconvenience of everyone else.
“We are decreasing the market in which thieves can operate.”
If you have information about scrap thefts or other illegal activities in the area, contact the local police team on 0845 4567000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.