Melbourne: Police bust organised crime syndicate allegedly behind $780k copper theft

Police have busted an organised crime syndicate that allegedly stole $780,000 value of copper from telco pits, inflicting web and energy outages.

Eleven individuals have been arrested as a part of a police investigation into 50 large-scale copper thefts that occurred in Melbourne’s north over the primary six months of the 12 months.

It’s alleged the offenders used moveable energy instruments to chop via telco pits housed in residential streets and stole giant portions of copper.

The harm reportedly precipitated disruptions to web and energy and important misery to impacted residents, police stated.

On June 29, police executed search warrants at a number of properties and seized about $95,000 value of stolen copper.

Six individuals have been arrested throughout this search blitz, together with a 43-year-old man who was charged with the legal harm of $30,000 to telecommunication footpath pits and the theft of $215,000 value of copper cabling.

Detective Inspector Patrick Watkinson stated this type of theft “impacts us all”, as harm to crucial infrastructure can affect telecommunication networks, public transport signalling and energy provide.

“We hope this sends a transparent message to second-hand sellers which might be tempted by the lure of fast cash,” he stated.

A scrap metallic enterprise in Reservoir has additionally been compelled to close down for 2 years after it allegedly acquired $260,000 in stolen items.

The 58-year-old proprietor was charged with 10 counts every of dealing with stolen items, recklessly coping with the proceeds of crime and two counts of possessing property suspected of being the proceeds of crime.

He was additionally charged with paying for scrap metallic in money and failing to maintain prescribed information.

He was bailed to look earlier than the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court docket on December 1.

Anybody who has details about legal exercise is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report on-line at

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