FIVE South Yorkshire men have been arrested by police in an operation mounted to crackdown on cable theft.
The suspects, aged 21, 29, 30, 31 and 37, were arrested at their homes in Thurnscoe, Barnsley, in planned raids.
They were arrested over the theft of cable from the railway line near Knottingley railway station in Wakefield, which caused major disruption to rail services in the area.
All five men have been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
Det Insp Mick Jackson, of British Transport Police, said: “This arrest forms part of ongoing work we are undertaking with Network Rail and local police forces to tackle this crime, work which is having a great effect.
“After officers launched an investigation, within 24 hours five men were traced and arrested in connection with the offence, which caused misery to thousands.
“As part of our efforts to track down those responsible for cable theft we visit scrapyards in the area as most cable thieves look for the quickest way to sell on the stolen goods – scrap yards are one such method.
“We work closely with scrap yard owners to monitor any cable which is brought in and, with assistance from railway and telecoms experts, can quickly identify stolen cable.
“The theft of cable has a direct impact on the everyday lives of the travelling public – it really is an attack on the community.
“The act of stealing cable is also an extremely dangerous crime which is costly to the rail industry and to the thousands of passengers who rely on the rail network.”