VIDEO: Brazen thieves in high-vis jackets steal benches from heritage station (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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VIDEO: Brazen thieves in high-vis jackets steal benches from heritage station
A brazen team of thieves wearing high-visibility jackets have stolen seating worth thousands of pounds from a heritage railway line in the district.
Bosses at the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway have now released still images taken from security camera footage.
They say three men in a van arrived at Ingrow West Station and removed six benches from the yard – including four from the station itself.
Michael Tarran, station safety officer and clerk of works, said five of the wood and metal benches were worth about £500 each. He said the railway had suffered from criminal activities in the past, but had never had so many benches stolen before.
He added: “The thieves took the number plate off the front of their vehicle before they entered the yard. They rolled up wearing high-visibility jackets, and they must have stayed for quite a while. It was still light at the time, and people obviously didn’t realise what they were up to.
“It is very frustrating to say the least. We have reported it to the police.
“The only two seats left at the station now are those that are bolted to the stone wall. Two of the benches were screwed to the fence on the platform – but they managed to steal those.”
Mr Tarran, who has been a K&WVR volunteer for about 16 years, said: “I know we’re not the only heritage railway to be targeted. We have brought this up before with West Yorkshire Police, but they can’t be everywhere, and just how much CCTV can you provide?
“We try our best to cover all the potential threats. We’ve alerted the Railway Gazette magazine, so if anyone tries to sell these benches people might realise that they’ve been stolen from us.”
The incident happened at 7.20pm last Thursday.
A police spokesman said officers were aware of the theft, and confirmed that six benches in total had been taken.
“We’re keen to trace the driver of a white Mercedes Sprinter van which was seen at this location,” he said.
People with any information can call the police on the non-emergency 101 number, or phone 0800 555111 to contact Crimestoppers.