Spike thieves could have been killers
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.