Thieves steal £800 of copper
Michael Newstead with the type of copper that was stolen.
THIEVES stole a hoard of copper from the garden of a plumber and used his wheelie bin to cart it away.
The crime took place overnight as Michael Newstead slept at his Winkfield home, leaving him £800 out of pocket.
Mr Newstead, 53, a father of four and grandfather of five, said: "A neighbour got woken up by the noise at about 3.20am and switched a light on and saw a white van driving away with the lights switched off.
"They had a good look around while they were there. The copper was stored down the side of the house. There were copper cylinders in there and bits of pipe. It was ready to go to the scrap yard.
"We store it up and when we get a reasonable amount we take it up the scrap yard. We do a lot of boiler exchanges, which is where the scrap copper comes from."
The heating engineer had amassed the scrap metal over a period of months as the result of leftover material from contracts and planned to sell it to a scrap dealer.
It was left in his back garden covered by a tarpaulin but thieves cut through a neighbour's fence to get to it from the side of his property.
He has since changed security at his home.
Mr Newstead said he had experienced copper theft from virtually under his nose, at job placements, because the scrap value of the metal makes it a tradeable commodity.
"We've been working on jobs and had bits outside the front door and people have come along and pinched them as your back is turned.
"It costs a lot of money to replace it. The price goes up week after week."
The theft took place in the early hours of Thursday, February 28.
Anyone with information should call police on 101.
This article appeared in Bracknell News 15 Mar 13