2/8/2009Belgian, British, Polish Speed Cameras Swiped
Vigilantes grab speed cameras in Belgium, England and Poland.
Speed cameras around the world have gone missing. In Antwerp, Belgium on January 25, a vigilante loosened the four bolts that held a speed camera pole in place, ripped the entire assembly out of the ground, drove it fifteen miles away and tossed the smashed remains of the camera into a canal. Officials in the municipality of Oud-Turnhout declared the automated ticketing machine, which cost 65,000 euros (US $84,000), a total loss. According to Gazet van Turnhout, this was the first time a vigilante had succeeded in taking a complete speed camera assembly along with its pole.
A British vigilante was slightly less successful after standing on top of a trash can to pry off the back of a speed camera housing. The vigilante was unable to completely pull out the inner workings of the device in the Lincolnshire town of Boston. Police believe about £10,000 (US $15,000) in damage was done to the automated ticketing machine on the A52 in Leverton, the Boston Standard reported.
In Poland, tripod-mounted mobile speed cameras have become a target. An unknown vigilante grabbed a photo radar device while police were not looking in the town of Sieradz last week. The automated ticketing machine was valued at 150,000 Zlotych (US $42,000), but because it was insured, police have already secured a replacement. Over the past year, the town has seen two photo radar devices destroyed on the Lodzkie 8 road and a number of others have been covered in paint, according to Polska Dziennik Lodzki.