Live power lines targeted by thieves

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Thieves are scaling telegraph poles and electricity pylons in rural Shropshire to cut live power lines for copper, police said.

During the past two weeks, six cable thefts have been reported, mainly in the south-eastern part of the county.

Members of the public are being urged to look out for people stealing the power cables, which are worth thousands of pounds.

Three suspects have been arrested in Warwickshire but thefts have continued.

'Isolated locations'

West Mercia Police said up to 500m of cable were being stolen each time, disrupting power supplies to nearby properties.

In Shropshire, the thefts have occurred at Tong, Albrighton, Much Wenlock, Monkhopton and Sutton Maddock.

Det Insp Sarah Wagstaff said: "We are asking local people to contact us if they see anyone working on overhead lines or climbing telegraph poles or pylons.

"Even if they look genuine, with protective clothing and fluorescent jackets, call the police immediately on 101 so we can check them out.

"Most of the incidents have been in isolated rural locations, usually at night, although thefts have occurred during daytime too.

"We believe they are operating in gangs of at least two or three, with a car or van at hand and possibly someone acting as look-out while the cable is being removed."

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