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London Bridge copper cable theft: three jailed

Three men involved in the theft of copper cables from a London Bridge railway yard that led to a dramatic chase across Tower Bridge have been jailed.

Aaron O'Brien, 24, Patrick O'Donoghue, 22, both from Bow and Michael McMahon, 25, from Coventry were sentenced to a total of 17 years in jail at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court on Tuesday.

The men caused more than 5,000 damage when they stole cable drums at London Bridge on 17 July 2006.

"Police were alerted by rail staff who caught the trio on CCTV loading the van up with three cable drums," explains Detective Sergeant Paddy Kerr of the British Transport Police.

"They were in and out within 10 minutes, with police tracking the van as it exited the station siding area.

"While police were in pursuit of the van, the doors to the van were flung open by two of the defendants and the cable drums were thrown from the moving van.

"One of the drums struck a passing car, causing 1,500 damage while other drums were thrown from the van narrowly missing police.

"It was very lucky that no-one was seriously injured or worse."

Traffic on Tower Bridge was disrupted after lengths of cable were thrown from the van.

The two police officers who gave chase received commendations for continuing to follow the van while dodging bouncing cable drums.

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