Spike thieves could have been killers

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By FLORENCE KERR

Toko­roa Se­nior Con­sta­ble Tony An­drews says it is sheer luck that no­body was hurt of killed af­ter three kilo­me­tres of screw spikes that se­cure the Kin­leith rail­way track were re­moved.

In what Mr An­drews has de­scribed as a ‘‘ highly dan­ger­ous theft’’, three kilo­me­tres of rail fas­ten­ers were re­moved from a sec­tion of the track be­tween Bridge St and Camp­bell Rd in Toko­roa.

The theft had weak­ened the sup­port struc­ture of the rail line, which is mainly used to cart prod­ucts to and from Kin­leith Pulp and Pa­per Mill.

Kiwi Rail dis­cov­ered the theft af­ter a rou­tine check and in­formed po­lice.

The po­lice say they be­lieve the spike theft was done in De­cem­ber.

Ki­wiRail have re-se­cured the line.

‘‘It is quite scary to think that a fa­tal­ity could have oc­curred while peo­ple were wait­ing for the train to pass on Bridge St.

‘‘A fully laden train with logs on it could have quite eas­ily top­pled caus­ing fa­tal­i­ties to those wait­ing in their ve­hi­cle and parts of the res­i­den­tial area.

‘‘It is im­por­tant that we find those re­spon­si­ble for this to stop this hap­pen­ing again,’’ Mr An­drews said. Any­one with in­for­ma­tion about per­sons deal­ing with screw spikes or be­hav­ing sus­pi­ciously on the rail line can pass it on con­fi­den­tially to Crimestop­pers on 0800 555 111 or to Se­nior Con­sta­ble Tony An­drews of the Toko­roa po­lice.

DAN­GER­OUS: Se­nior Con­sta­ble Tony An­drews said the theft of screws that se­cured the rail­way track in place could have re­sulted in in­no­cent lives be­ing lost.

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