Merton blackout: Thieves sabotage cable network leaving homes and businesses in dark

A £1,000 reward for information to catch cable crooks has been offered following two acts of vandalism to telecommunication networks in Mitcham and Wimbledon over the past fortnight.

Cable thieves carried out their mid-afternoon raids, the first on January 23 around 3:15pm before a similar incident occurred at 2:15pm just three days later on January 26.

Openreach, a BT Group Business, are working with police to determine whether the incidents on Wandle Road, Merton Road and Wimbledon Hill Road are connected.

Following engineers’ round-the-clock work to restore phone lines and broadband services to affected areas, Crimestoppers have offered the reward in their bid for information.

Regan Hook, London regional manager for Crimestoppers, said: “While cable theft might not be seen as a serious crime, the impact on the local community is very real and causes disruption to both families and businesses across the areas affected.”

BT’s RABIT (Rapid Assessment BT Incident Tracker) one of many cable-theft specific responses systems, was activated within seconds of the incidents occurring.

Crimestoppers and Openreach have been working together since February 2011 and Bernie Auguste, head of Openreach, urged anyone with information to come forward no matter how small.

He said: “Our teams are working around the clock to restore service and we are helping the police to bring the people responsible for thee crimes to justice.”

Any information can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Picture courtesy of Morgan, with thanks

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