Harby: Cable thieves target village for second time in month

  • Published
Cable theft near LincolnImage source, Nic Haywood
Image caption,
Harby resident Dan Lilley says thieves "yank" cable from exchange boxes and tow it away

Around 200 homes and businesses in a village have been cut off from the internet after thieves stole thousands of feet of copper cable.

Openreach said over 13,000ft (4,000m) of cable was stolen from Harby, near Lincoln, in the early hours of Monday.

Village resident Dan Lilley said it was the second time in a month that phones and broadband had been cut off there due to cable theft.

Police said an investigation was ongoing, but no arrests had been made.

In a statement, Openreach said it was "really disappointed" villagers in Harby had suffered "the brunt of criminal behaviour [because of] theft from our network".

It added that it was a "huge job" to replace the cable, which could take until next week to resolve.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
In February, the theft of cable near Sleaford meant 150 people were cut off from phone and internet

Mr Lilley said as soon as stolen cable was replaced, thieves "just pull it all back up again".

He added: "We have a Ukrainian refugee student staying at the moment. She came from a city to this village, then the internet was cut off and she couldn't contact her family or study for her online university degree."

Rural crime in the area was "pretty much constant", Mr Lilley said.

Det Insp Richard Nethercott, from Lincolnshire Police, said people living, working or dog-walking in rural areas must be "extra-vigilant" and report any suspicious behaviour to officers.

He also appealed for anyone with CCTV or dashcam footage from the area before or during the theft on Monday to get in touch.

Det Insp Nethercott added that a new rural crime team which was launched last December would target hare-coursing, wildlife crime, arson, fly-tipping, lead theft, theft from farms and rural properties, as well as offering crime prevention advice.

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