Gang of metal thieves blamed for loss of ?10,000 sluice gates
PUBLISHED May 30, 2012
Derbyshire Police said thieves would have needed heavy-duty lifting equipment to carry out what they described as a "professional job".
The £10,000 gates, which are owned by the Environment Agency, were stored beside a bridge that spans the river near a new A6 bypass close to Derby.
Sgt Dave Stafford and his team are investigating the incident after the gates were taken between May 18 and 22.
He said: "These metal sluice gates are huge and in total would have weighed between eight and nine tons.
"The theft would have taken a lot of time, specialist lifting equipment, a mechanical arm or a digger-type vehicle, and a number of suspects would have been needed for what looks like a very professional job.
"The place where they were taken from is remote but the vehicles would have been driven down a walkers' path to get to the location. We are hoping that dog walkers, walkers or cyclists who use the path may have seen the sluice gates being lifted or taken."
Sgt Stafford said officers had contacted scrap metal dealers in the surrounding area to ask whether the gates had been offered to them.
He said: "At this stage, the most likely suspects are metal thieves looking to cash in on the high price currently being paid by scrap metal dealers."
An Environment Agency spokesman said the stolen gates were called "stop logs".
He added: "The sluice gates themselves are still in place. We can put the stop logs in place if there are any problems with the gates.
"We are looking to replace the stop logs but we do not have a timeline for this work yet. The cost is expected to be in the region of £10,000."