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BT copper cable thieves Daryl Carslake and Gavin Marriott jailed
A pair of thieves who left thousands fuming when they ripped out BT copper cables have been jailed.
Daryl Carslake, 30, and Gavin Marriott, 28, both from Epsom, were jailed at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, February 8, after pleading guilty to two counts of theft of cabling from Teddington and Sussex.
They were both sentenced to two years for each count of theft, to run concurrently, which was reduced to 16 months for each count, to run concurrently, due to their early guilty pleas.
The men stole the cabling in two separate incidents in May last year, each time posing as workmen and travelling in a van towing a large winch to extract the cable via manholes.
On May 9, the men targeted a manhole in Langham Road, Teddington and got away with 425 metres of cable.
They were challenged by a passing council permit officer but made off swiftly. He took photographs of them and noted the registration number of their van - information which was later used to link the pair to a cable theft committed in Sussex on May 29.
On that day, Carslake and Marriott visited a site in Fernheath, Sussex, cutting cable which served hundreds of local residents and businesses, returning the following day to remove it.
BT engineers who were called to the location to reports of service problems, witnessed the men arrive and called the police. They were then stopped and arrested by Surrey Police and the cable was recovered.
The pair were then arrested by the London Crime Squad for the theft in Teddington and subsequently charged with both offences.
Detective Chief Inspector Lee Hill, of the London Crime Squad, said: "Metal theft impacts upon the lives of tens of thousands of Londoners every year with telecommunication being cut off, and trains and transport disrupted.
"We will continue to work closely with our partner agencies to bring those involved to justice.
"These sentences send out a strong message to those involved in this type of criminal activity and, hopefully, will deter others from doing so in the future."
Simon Davies, BT general manager for cable theft, said: "This case highlights the often highly organised nature of metal theft by persons who are only concerned with maximising their proceeds from this crime and care nothing for the disruption they cause for communities.
"BT's metal theft task force helped The Met and Surrey Police forces to connect the incidents together which led to the criminal activities of these individuals being brought to an end.
"The conviction and subsequent sentences are therefore very fitting."