Belgian railway company Infrabel has demanded over €12,000 in compensation of a former employee who stole over 3.5 tonnes of copper for years.
The 58-year-old man from the municipality of Ardooie in the West Flanders province was caught red-handed in Bruges while hiding a plastic bag with 6 kg of copper underneath the seat in his car.
"During a search, the police found a lot of similar bags with small cracks, probably made by the metal," the prosecutor said, reports Het Laatste Nieuws. "They may have been used in previous thefts," they added.
The suspect confessed that he had been stealing metal, mainly copper, for several years because he was frustrated about the loss of his monthly €70 bonus. He sold everything he stole to a scrap dealer. "Since the beginning of 2018, the accused has stolen 3,587 kg of metal, which had a value of €8,237," the prosecutor stated, demanding a 12-month prison sentence and a fine.
After the man was caught, he resigned at Infrabel. "My client was in debt and committed the crimes out of financial necessity," his lawyer said, reports Het Nieuwsblad. "He saw this as a small addition to his wages," he added.
The verdict will be pronounced on 17 February.
The Brussels Times