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£30k mast attack sparks theft probe  

Credit:  By Rebecca Gray, Evening Times, www.eveningtimes.co.uk 21 October 2011 ~~

Metal thieves may have torn down a high-tech meteorological mast leaving a £30,000 repair bill.

The weather mast was being used in tests for a possible wind farm in Gartcosh, North Lanarkshire.

Police said they could not rule out the possibility a gang was trying to steal valuable metal from the mast or the base.

Steel bolts securing the 50-metre mast were deliberately unscrewed, causing it to sway in the high winds, before collapsing.

It is understood the delicate electrical equipment contained in the mast was then smashed.

The mast, which stood near Birkenshaw Road in the town, was being used to gauge wind speeds at the site,

Wind turbine company WhiteRock Energy UK erected the mast earlier this year, as part of investigations into a possible wind farm in the area. Police believe the vandals struck last week between 6.45pm and 7.40pm on Tuesday October 11.

Another possible motive being looked at is that the mast was felled in protest against the possible wind turbines.

A spokesman for WhiteRock Energy UK said: “The mast was erected to measure the current wind speed on the site.

“It is part of our investigation to measure wind speed in the area.”

The company currently has no plans to erect wind turbines in the area.

Strathclyde Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

A police spokeswoman said: “We can confirm we received a report of that a meteorological mast in Birkenshaw Road, Gartcosh, had been damaged.

“Inquiries so far have revealed the mast was targeted between the hours of 6.45pm and 7.40pm on Tuesday October 11. The vandalism has caused approximately £30,000 worth of damage.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact officers at Coatbridge Police Office on 01236 502000, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Source:  By Rebecca Gray, Evening Times, www.eveningtimes.co.uk 21 October 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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