Not just any old iron: Russian rail thief nabs 275 tonnes of track

Saint Petersburg (AFP) –


Police in Saint Petersburg said Wednesday that they have arrested a man for stealing more than 275 tonnes of rail track.

Armed only with a spanner and pliers, the unemployed 38-year-old, who was caught red-handed, stole pieces of metal that connected the rail tracks, the police said in a statement.

They did not specify over what period of time the metal was stolen, but said the total booty weighed in at more than 275 tonnes.

The thief faces a jail sentence of up to five years.

With metal fetching around 14,000 roubles ($220, 190 euros) per tonne, even small pieces are frequently stolen in Russia, particularly on the railways.