Leeds & West Yorkshire

Gang steals 120 tonnes of rail track from Garforth

A gang of thieves posing as contractors have stolen more than 120 tonnes of rail track from a storage yard near Leeds, police have said.

The thieves are believed to have used a forged pass to gain entry to the site in Garforth where redundant track was waiting to be taken for scrap.

They loaded 400 sections of track on to a lorry using a fork lift truck on several visits between 17 and 22 June.

The track was later traced to a scrapyard in Great Harwood, Blackburn.

Det Sgt Matt Davies, of British Transport Police, said: "We believe that they used a forged contract, which staff at the station took as legitimate, in order to lift and load up the wagon.

"The thieves must have clearly spent a fair amount of time and preparation in planning their crime.

"We are conducting local inquiries as well as forensic analysis to track down those responsible.

"It is likely that any witnesses would have assumed that the removal was genuine, but they may now hold the key to identifying those responsible."

Network Rail said security at all its sites "is of high importance and under constant review".

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