The thieves are frequently at Keleti Railway Station. Last year, they caused damage worth 850,000 forints (EUR 2,408 ) to MÁV.
In 2021, there were 13 instances of trains being late due to the cables having been stolen. In 2022, there have been 11 cases of theft already, writes hvg.hu. In 2021, a total of 175 trains were 1,720 minutes late, but this year, in January, there were 315 late arrivals, and the vehicles were 3,210 minutes late in total.
The number of minutes got higher because the cable thieves regularly go to the area between Keleti Railway Station and Kőbánya felső. The railways between Sülysáp and Tápiószecső are also areas frequented by thieves. Last year, the 13 thefts cost 11 million forints (EUR 31,164) to the railways. Before 2014, the situation was a lot worse. There were 500-600 instances of cable theft annually.
The reason that the number of cases dropped after 2014 was a new law. In March that year, the Metal Act was implemented. According to the new law, materials such as railway components, transformer housings, scrap metal, antennas, traffic signs, among other objects, can no longer be entered into the registration system only when the metal dealers submit their report. Instead, the movement of the substance can be traced right from the person who gave it away. Before someone gets rid of the metallics, the local metal trade authority must be notified of such plans, and scrap metal can only be legally purchased with the written permission of the authority.
The railway company’s security team and the police are closely cooperating to solve the cable-stealing problem.
The numbers show that this year, the thieves might steal more cable and cause more issues to the railways and passengers alike. Index also reported on the issue of cable stealing, and the story involved a 150-metre-long cable. What happened then was that two men, Gábor H. and Szebasztián P., tried to steal 150 metres of cable on 3 February to then sell the copper from the cable. Their action meant a damege of 4 million forints (EUR 11,332) to MÁV. The two men were caught by a police officer who went to the scene. The men admitted to stealing the cable, and they were charged.
Source: HVG, Index