Munitions stolen from train travelling between Cumbria and Oxfordshire (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Munitions stolen from train travelling between Cumbria and Oxfordshire
8:13pm Saturday 27th October 2012 in News
The North-West Counter Terrorism Unit is appealing for information following the theft of munitions from a freight train between Cumbria and Oxfordshire.
Ten packages, each containing four separate plastic cases, were initially reported missing to the British Transport Police on Thursday.
Shortly after 7.30am the munitions were discovered missing when the train arrived at Didcot, Oxfordshire.
Seven of these packages have now been found near a railway line in the Folley Lane area of Warrington, Cheshire. Officers from NWCTU are continuing with their enquiries.
Three of the packages, which were made up of a total of 12 plastic cases, are still outstanding and police enquiries are ongoing.
The MoD-owned munitions were on the train when it left Longtown in Cumbria at approximately 11.30am on Wednesday.
Police now understand the munitions were taken off the train while it was temporarily stationary in Warrington, and seven of the packages were discarded nearby.
Officers are now appealing to anyone who may have seen the outstanding items to contact police.
They are described as being rectangular plastic tubes, approximately 4ft (1.2 metres) in length.
A co-ordinated investigation led by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit also includes the Metropolitan Police Service, British Transport Police and MoD.
Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said: "A number of enquiries are now being made by police officers into this theft, and our main priority is to safely recover the missing items.
"At this stage there is nothing to suggest the theft is terrorist-related, but due to the potential complexity of the investigation, our enquiries are being led by counter terrorism officers.
"We would like to appeal to any members of the public who may know the whereabouts of these items, or any persons involved in the theft of these items to contact the police immediately.
"I want to make it clear that, in their normal condition, these munitions are stable and do not pose a risk to the public.
"However, the materials could be hazardous if they were to be tampered with and we therefore ask that anyone who sees them or knows where they are to call the police as soon as possible."
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 1027 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.