Men charged with stealing copper cabling at mine shaft

A Wollongong man has been refused bail after he allegedly broke into a mine shaft and attempted to steal copper cabling.

Police allege Martin Bayliss and two other men broke into BHP Billiton's No 3 mine shaft at Cataract in the early hours of Sunday morning and cut copper cabling used in the elevator shafts.

It is alleged the men used the stairwell to move between each level of the building and cut away the cabling in sections, the Illawarra Mercury reported.

Police arrived at the site at about 4:30am after an internal alarm was triggered and allegedly saw three men running into nearby bushland but say they didn’t continue to pursue the trio due to safety concerns.

It is alleged the men left a blue sports bag at the scene containing wire cutters, bolt cutters and a mobile phone, which held photos of Bayliss.

Police patrolled Picton Rd until shortly after 7:30am when the three men were located and arrested.

One of the accused was transported to Wollongong Hospital for treatment after falling 20 metres down an embankment.

Bayliss was charged with break and enter and trespass offences.

In court on Sunday Registrar Nicole Hoffmann denied Bayliss bail as he was wanted on an outstanding warrant after failing to appear in court for a separate matter.

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