A FORMER BT engineer stole metal cables from telephone exchanges around Oxfordshire more than 120 times for two years before being caught.

Edward Thomas, a BT operations manager, then sold the loot on for profit.

The 60-year-old, from Bagley Close, Kennington, pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on January 8 to three counts of theft by an employee, and three counts of concealing, disguising, converting, transferring or removing criminal property.

He also asked to have 246 offences taken into consideration.

The court heard that between May 2010 and April 2012, Thomas stole metal cable from various BT exchanges around Oxfordshire on more than 120 occasions.

Thames Valley Police said that as Mr Thomas did not admit specific thefts on specific days it did not know exactly where the crimes took place.

However, police spokeswoman Rhianne Pope indicated he had committed thefts “all over Oxfordshire”.

Det Ins Rodger Cartwright said: “This prosecution is another example of the on-going activity conducted by Thames Valley Police under the banner of Operation Symphony into metal theft and associated crime.

“We will continue to investigate these offences and work alongside partner agencies in order to bring offenders to justice.”

Simon Davies, cable theft manager at BT Security, said last night: “British Telecom has worked closely with Thames Valley Police, providing surveillance intelligence to assist with the police’s operation.

“BT will not tolerate any level of criminal behaviour and we will continue to work with police and do everything possible to catch criminals.”

Thomas was bailed to appear at the court for sentencing on February 1.