24th Oct, 2020

'Surgical' theft of Rugby parking meter leaves police baffled

Rugby Editorial 22nd Jul, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

THE BIZARRE theft of a parking meter in Rugby town centre has left police baffled as to how it was done.

The meter, on Park Road opposite Holbrook Avenue, was removed in its entirety sometime between the evening of Friday July 10 and the following morning – leaving live electrical cables exposed.

And police said the theft – the first of its kind recorded in the Rugby area – was carried out with such precision they were none the wiser as to how it was done.

A member of the public who did not wish to be named told the Observer it looked like a professional job.

He said: “It’s unbelievable. If it had been towed away by a car, there would have been lots of mess. But it looks as if it’s been taken out with an angle grinder. It’s just completely gone.”

The site of the parking machine on Park Road, which was removed with ‘professional’ precision.

A spokesperson for Warwickshire County Council said it was the first incident of its type that they had dealt with since taking over on-street parking enforcement in November 2014.

He said: “Due to the overnight timing of the incident, we believe the risk to the public to have been minimal.

“As soon as we were aware of the incident our service provider NSL worked promptly with Western Power to make safe the machine’s cabling. The machine has not been retrieved so we have no information on its condition.

“Removal of this machine was a thoughtless and costly act, and we are investigating replacement fees. We have reported the incident to the police and we will seek to prosecute the offenders.”

Police Community Support Officer Sam Edmunds of the Rugby Safer Neighbourhood Team said no-one in the area had seen or heard anything after house-to-house enquiries were conducted.

“As far as I’m aware, we’ve never had any incidents like this reported in the Rugby area. We don’t really know how it was done,” she added.

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101, quoting incident number 272 of July 11, 2015.

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