Gang used secret tunnels in £1m metal theft from Stobhill Hospital

Thieves used tunnels to steal metal worth more than £1 million from derelict buildings at Stobhill Hospital, according to national reports.

Monday, 8th October 2018, 4:15 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th October 2018, 12:55 am

They spent months stripping out valuable high-voltage cables, which were still live, pipes and lead. The gang used utility tunnels to move around the site, erected temporary lights, brought in a specialist electrician and stole a CCTV security camera.

It is believed the gang used nearby Littlehill Golf Club in Bishopbriggs to access the site via a narrow bridge hidden by trees.

Paul Sweeney, MP for Glasgow North East, saw the extent of the thefts on a site visit last month, after the building was set alight by vandals in July.

He has written to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to express his “shock” at the state of the old hospital.

He told a national Sunday newspaper: “Millions and millions of pounds worth of property has been taken, destroyed or allowed to fall to bits at a time when the NHS is so strapped for cash.

“This site was a treasure trove, but its value has been plundered by criminals.”

A skilled electrician was used to isolate sections of cable as the site’s power was still live, despite being shut in 2009.

They were almost caught when they cut the wrong cable, causing a temporary blackout and leading to the discovery of the temporary lights.

But the group were undeterred and the lack of electricity, meant CCTV cameras were now also disabled, according to reports, allowing the criminals to continue their spree.

It’s understood the gang would not have received market value for the scraps as they were sold on the black market.

After the gang’s departure, vandals are believed to have entered the site and caused the devastating fire earlier this year.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed the hospital - which once housed Scotland’s first X-ray unit - had been targeted but it was working with police to protect it.

A statement added: “The decommissioned buildings of the site have been prioritised for a phased demolition programme.”

Police Scotland also confirmed it has received a “number of reports” of metal theft from the site.

Enquiries are ongoing.