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Motorists across the UK have been warned that their lives could be at risk as battery thieves target temporary road signs and traffic lights. According to the British Metal Recycling Association (BMRA), the problem is getting out of hand with hundreds of signs and traffic lights being affected each month.
The association is now working with police to tackle the problem that “puts lives at risk”.
The BMRA has warned its members to remain vigilant and look out for anyone attempting to steal batteries.
The RAC added the thefts are affecting road safety.
Road safety spokesperson Simon Williams said: “It’s extremely worrying that batteries are being stolen from important temporary digital signs and traffic lights as this puts lives at risk.
“These signs are there to protect road workers, drivers and other road users from potential collisions, so the fact many are being put out of order because of criminality is unbelievably dangerous.”
A spokeswoman for the British Metals Recycling Association added: “BMRA works very closely with the police services to help to interrupt criminal activity when it comes to all types of metal theft.
“The likely reason for their theft is either reuse or for the value found in the metals contained within the batteries such as lead.
“We run a metal theft alert service whereby we provide members with full details of the theft, including a picture of the stolen items.”
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The news comes after police warned drivers of a wing mirror scam currently taking place in the UK that can cost motorists thousands of pounds.
The scam is currently happening in some parts of Wales where drivers are forced to hand over hundreds and even thousands of pounds.
Police are now worried that the scam could spread across the UK.
A driver of a Range Rover was reportedly hit by scammers in the Pensarn area of Conwy at the end of May.
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The scam involves a person standing nearby an approaching vehicle and attempting to strike the wing mirror with some kind of an object.
This could be a stick or anything else that can cause damage to a car’s wing mirror.
The scammers then pressure the driver into believing that they struck the fraudster’s car.
They demand high payment for repairs on the spot.
A North Wales Police spokesperson warned: “The victim will be driving along and then hear a bang on the passenger side of their vehicle.
“A car will then follow behind, get them to pull over, and then claim that the victim just struck his driver’s door mirror and demand cash for repairs.
“What actually happens is that the scammer is parked at the roadside and will deliberately strike the victim’s car as it passes. The damaged mirror is fake and wasn’t caused by the victim.”
The police said that anyone with information about the Pensarn incident should come forward.
They can do so by calling 101 and quoting the reference code B078072.
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