By Tristan Harris Wednesday 12 September 2012 Updated: 13/09 17:15
THIEVES in Chaddesley Corbett risked their own lives and those of others to steal 240-volt power cables worth £2,500.
It is thought the incident, which saw 600 to 700 metres of cable taken, took place at the two properties in Rushock and Cakebole at around 2am on Monday morning (September 10).
The owners, who woke to find they had no power to their homes, then realised part of the overhead cables had been taken.
Markings on the wooden poles suggested the thieves came prepared and were wearing specialist climbing shoes or spikes.
A spokesperson from Western Power Distribution said metal theft was a nationwide problem, which had escalated in the last few years and now cost the organisation £1.5million-a-year to put right.
"It affects our substations, but even overhead and underground lines have become targets, which is hard to believe when you consider the extremely high voltages involved.
"It's lethal and the thieves are dicing with death for very small reward.
"They're also putting at risk the lives of our engineers who have to repair and replace infrastructure that may have been left in an unsafe condition.
"Similarly, other innocent people could become victims."
He added the thefts were inconvenient for customers, especially those in rural areas, and that Western Power Distribution was using CCTV, anti-vandal paint, Smartwater marking and intruder alarms to combat the crimes.
Witnesses or anyone with any information about this cable theft or others should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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