Officers are appealing for information after two separate cable theft incidents in North Wales caused significant disruption to the rail network.
The first theft took place near to the Bersham foot crossing in Wrexham, where 40 metres of cable was stolen at around 7pm on Saturday, 6 October.
The second theft — in the Watery Road area — took place on Monday, 15 October. This time, 30 metres of railway cable were taken, causing severe disruption and financial implications for the rail industry.
Detective Inspector Mark Cleland said: “We have launched an investigation into both of these incidents and will be carrying out directed patrols in Wrexham to catch and deter criminals. We will also link with North Wales Police to gather intelligence on suspects in the area.
“Officers have been visiting scrap yards in the area to monitor any cable which is being brought in, and we will continue to work closely with scrap metal dealers.”
Anyone with any information about the Wrexham cable thefts should contact call 0800 40 50 40 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In all calls, please quote incident reference B8/WQA of 16/10/2012.
The true cost of cable theft
Cable and metal thefts have a serious impact on the railway and have cost Network Rail more than £43 million over the past three years. It is estimated that metal theft is now costing the industry around £16 million a year.
DI Cleland added: “The act of stealing railway cable is incredibly dangerous, and anyone seeking to do so risks serious injury — or even death — through electrocution.
“We simply will not tolerate any behaviour which threatens the infrastructure of the country. Individuals who steal from the railway are nothing but parasitic opportunists, who prey on law-abiding taxpayers. They are organised and selfish, and they need to be stopped before innocent people are killed by their greed.
“If you witnessed anything suspicious in the area or have any information that would help the investigation, I am now appealing for you to contact us.”