THIEVES who stole £20 worth of cable have cost the rail industry tens of thousands of pounds.
The culprits risked death by stealing 30 yards of live cable from the railway line near Jack Lane, Batley Carr, last Wednesday. The theft led to major disruption between Dewsbury and Batley stations.
Now a £1,000 reward is being offered for information on those responsible.
Det Insp Mick Jackson, of British Transport Police’s dedicated cable squad Operation Leopard, said: “Fourteen trains were cancelled, and 134 delayed or affected following this theft, which will cost the rail industry tens of thousands of pounds.
“Ironically though the thieves risking their lives will have only managed to get around £20 for the amount of cable they stole.
“Rail staff had to conduct emergency repairs which resulted in passengers being disrupted into the early afternoon.
“What thieves don’t realise is that they are 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 extremely dangerous and anyone who has any information about the incident, or who saw any suspicious activity in the area is asked to come forward.”
Network Rail and the charity Crimestoppers have now teamed up to offer a reward of up to £1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the cable thieves.
Officers would particularly like to speak to anyone who was in the area before 9am last Wednesday, or may have seen any suspicious activity.
Anyone with information can call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 125 of 12/10/2011, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.