EIGHT men will be sentenced today after pleading guilty to steal power cable from a railway line.

The men were arrested as part of Operation Distillery, a major investigation into the theft of cable between Evesham and Moreton-in-Marsh, which took place between November 3, 2011 and Thursday, May 17 2012. 

It cost Network Rail something in the region of £500,000 and the men will be sentenced in Birmingham Crown Court.

On Thursday, May 24, officers from British Transport Police (BTP) executed search warrants at five addresses in the Handsworth and Smethwick areas of Birmingham.

A total of seven men, originally from Romania, were arrested at the addresses in Handsworth and Smethwick on suspicion of conspiracy to steal railway cable.

While on Wednesday May 23, four other Romanian men were detained after a suspicious vehicle was stopped by Warwickshire Police officers near to the railway line in Church Lawford, Warwickshire.

Three of the men were later released without charge.