Double trouble for metal thieves
A man stealing metal from a disused hospital spent five hours hiding in an air duct from what he thought were police officers coming to arrest him, only to find out later it was another thief coming to do the same thing, police have said.
Devon and Cornwall Police said both men were arrested after being caught at the former Tiverton District Hospital in Devon shortly before midnight last night, following a 999 call.
The first thief was still hiding when the real police arrived.
A spokesman said: "In a bizarre twist it appears that neither male knew that the other was there and prior to police arrival one of the males hid in ducting for five hours thinking that the other male was the police searching for him."
The men, one aged 30 from Crediton and one aged 19 from Cullompton, were arrested after police officers and the force helicopter swooped on the building in Bampton Street after a member of the public reported strange noises coming from the site. They are in custody in Exeter.
Inspector Andy Oliver said: "The force helicopter was invaluable as one of the males was on the rooftop and so we were able to track his movements allowing officers to locate and arrest him.
"The other male was located by the police dog who tracked him to the ducting.
"The site is quite dangerous and with the price of metal being high this shows the risks some people are prepared to take."