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UK police have denied that this week's arrest of a man for stealing a neighbour's Wi-Fi-enabled broadband connection they are to crack down on the crime.

The Chiswick man was apprehended by officers this week as he sat on a garden wall with his laptop and used his neighbours' broadband connection to access the internet.

However, reports that the arrest marks the police taking a harder line against the crime have been denied by a police spokesman.

He told ZDnet: "This was not a strategic, pre-planned operation. We're clearly not targeting broadband theft. The PCSOs saw a man acting suspiciously, and investigated."

"We're not going to ignore crime. If we find somebody committing an offence then we act on it, but this [crime] clearly doesn't happen in the hundreds or thousands," he added.

News of the latest arrest follows a man and a woman being arrested for the crime in the Midlands. They had been sitting in their cars using a laptop at the time.

The first conviction for the crime was in 2005 and saw Gregory Straszkiewicz fined £500 and handed a 12-month conditional discharge.

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