THIEVES are putting lives at risk – primarily their own – by stealing electricity cable, police are warning.
Officers are asking the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour following two thefts in North Tyneside a week ago on Wednesday.
The first was carried out at 4.30am at an electricity substation in Front Street, Seaton Burn.
Thieves forced their way through an electric fence to gain access to the substation, then cut off a length of copper cable to steal.
The stolen cable was valued at £100, with £300 worth of damage being caused to the fence.
The second theft took at 6pm, in Murton Lane in North Shields.
A thief scaled a telegraph pole and removed live copper cable valued at £2,000.
Acting Detective Inspector Joanne Brooks, of the police’s North Tyneside area command, said: “This type of theft is particularly dangerous, and police are concerned that people are risking life and limb to steal live cable from dangerous sites.
“These industrial premises are extremely dangerous for untrained members of the public to go into.
“Stealing live cable is inherently dangerous, and when thieves are also climbing great heights to steal, they are just doubling the risks.
“We would ask members of the public to be aware that these types of thefts are taking place, and if they see or hear any suspicious behaviour, to call the police straight away.”
Any witnesses are asked to contact police on 03456 043043 ext 69191 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.