An Garda Síochána is appealing for information from the public concerning the theft of telephone cable in the Co. Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath areas in recent months.
According to Gardaí, in the past six months alone, there have been 66 incidents of cable theft nationwide.
The vast majority of these have occurred in the Cavan / Monaghan, Louth and Meath Garda divisions.
To date, thefts have resulted in disruptions in services to more than 1,500 households.
Telephone cable theft
In a statement, a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said:
“These cables are likely being targeted for copper contained within the cable itself.”
“The theft has not only resulted in significant loss to the affected telephone provider – in these cases Eir – but has also greatly impacted the public by way of telephone and internet service outages.”
“These thefts have to date been primarily occurring in rural locations,” the spokesperson added.
When thieves remove cables, it can take providers two to three days, in some cases, to restore phone and internet services.
Gardaí said the crime has a “detrimental” effect on older, more vulnerable individuals living in rural communities.
The spokesperson highlighted that a loss of phone service could “significantly” impact their ability to access emergency services, medical alarm services and other supports.
An Garda Síochána is asking for vigilance concerning this theft type.
Cable casings left behind
Sgt Michael Duffy, crime prevention office for Cavan/Monaghan Division, said:
“An Garda Síochána wish to advise that works on telephone cables do not take place during the hours of darkness.”
“If the public notice activity on telephone cables at night, they should treat this as unusual and make contact with their local Garda Station or call 999.”
He explained that these cables are over ground on telephone poles. Following these thefts, thieves often leave cable casings behind.
“Where a member of the public observes discarded casings, I urged them to also make contact with their local Garda station. This information could be beneficial to this investigation.”
As well as appealing to the public for vigilance in relation to this crime, An Garda Síochána is also liaising with metal dealers.
It is appealing to them if they are approached to buy “significant” amounts of copper cable or copper in unusual circumstances, they should make contact with An Garda Síochána.
Furthermore, Carrickmacross Garda Station has set up an incident room. Anyone with information can contact them on 042-9690190 or via their local Garda station.