GAS meter thieves in the Kilwilke estate were putting householders lives at risk in 1978.
They were ripping meter boxes from the main supply and allowing gas to leak into the homes they raided.
One resident who entered his house said: “I would have been blown sky high if I had had a cigarette in my mouth.
“My wife and I were just returning home at around 8pm when we saw these four youngsters running away from the house.
“When I got into the house it was full of gas. Any naked light or spark could have ignited it.”
Vandals on the estate ripped away the meters and later opened them to get the money.