Warning follows railway cable theft

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DETECTIVES have launched an investigation into the theft of cable from the railway network near Rotherham, which caused chaos for travellers.

About 50 metres of cable was stolen from Fitzwilliam Station, on the Leeds to Sheffield line on Monday, at about 3.50am - causing signalling problems which led to delays for early morning commuters.

A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesman said: “BTP is appealing for information following cable theft from the line close to Moorthorpe on Monday.

“Officers were called to the line at about 3.50am and discovered 40 to 50 metres of cable had been cut and stolen from the line.

“Police are analysing forensics at the scene and visiting scrap yards in the local area.”

Detective Inspector Mick Jackson, who concentrates on tackling cable theft cases, said: “This theft caused considerable disruption to early morning commuters. What thieves don’t realise is that they can be working on live cable, carrying up to 25,000 volts, which can cause extensive burns.

“The act of stealing, or attempting to steal, cable is dangerous and anyone who with information about the incident, or who saw any suspicious activity in the area, is asked to come forward.”

A reward of up to £1,000 has been put up by Crimestoppers, in partnership with Network Rail, for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.

Anyone with information should call British Transport Police on 0800 405 040 and quote incident number 20 of January 16, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.