The Spanish police arrested a Romanian accused of stealing several electrical cables, and this interrupted the movement of high-speed trains on the Madrid-Barcelona route, mediterraneodigital.com reports.
The 19-year-old Romanian man is accused of stealing 600 meters of electric cable from the high-speed line, according to police sources cited by the publication. The young man resisted arrest and is now charged with robbery, destruction and disobedience to law enforcement officers.
The police, who have recovered some of the stolen material, do not rule out that the man is part of an organized group specializing in the theft of copper from electrical cables, which they then sell on the black market, and say that new arrests are possible in this case.
Because of this theft, high-speed trains on the Madrid-Barcelona route of Renfe, the Spanish state rail operator, were suspended for several hours on Monday. The company was forced to introduce an alternative rail route, bypassing the network used by high-speed trains, to transport passengers from the capital to Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city.
He is not the only Romanian recently arrested in Spain for such thefts. Another man of Romanian nationality, aged 43, was arrested last week for over 20 electric cable thefts in the Valencia area, according to the website lasprovincias.es. The thefts caused “a real danger”. “The absence of this wiring can cause an overload and result in electrocution of any employee or user of the railway line,” the authorities say.
The railroad thief waited vigilantly for the last train of the day to pass, then he cut the copper cables with the largest diameter and stripped them on the spot before taking the copper. The last step was selling on the black market.