‘Professional’ car park machine heist in Welwyn Garden City linked to 15 similar incidents

PUBLISHED: 09:52 16 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:52 16 August 2013

Stanborough Park, where parking machines have been vandalised

Stanborough Park, where parking machines have been vandalised

Archant

‘PROFESSIONAL’ thieves who disabled CCTV cameras before siphoning off cash from parking machines caused more than £10,000 of damage.

Ten machines at Stanborough Park were damaged, and the heist is being linked to 15 similar thefts.

Parking attendants are now being used to collect money.

A spokeswoman from Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “Finesse Leisure, who operate this site on our behalf, have confirmed that the 10 car park machines at Stanborough Park were professionally tampered with around 15 July 2013.

“The money from the machines was siphoned using specialist methods and the machines rendered unusable.

“The CCTV was disabled before the incident by the criminals. As a result there is a lack of evidence for the police to go on.” And she added: “A further 15 locations using similar machines, none of which were on any sites owned by the council or managed by Finesse, have been affected in the same way - it is assumed by the same group/individual.

“As securing the machines would cost £11,000, in addition to the cost for repair, Stanborough Park is using car park attendants on the entry gates to collect the money for people to pay for parking.

“Parking can also be paid for online or by using the popular ‘pay-by-phone’ options.”

She said Finesse Leisure is looking at “alternative options” for parking on the site.


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