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crime spree Gardai launch appeal after 66 incidents of telephone cable theft reported nationwide

It is believed that more than 1,500 households have had their services disrupted due to these thefts

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Damaged phone line. Photo: An Garda Siochana

Damaged phone line. Photo: An Garda Siochana

Damaged phone line. Photo: An Garda Siochana

Gardai have launched for information after a total of 66 incidents telephone cable theft were reported nationwide.

The spate of thefts have occurred across the country in recent months - with the majority reported in the Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath areas.

A garda spokesman said the thefts have particularly affected elderly people living in isolated rural areas who are dependent on the phone to contact emergency and medical services.

It is believed that more than 1,500 households have had their services disrupted due to these thefts.

The garda spokesman said: "Garda Síochána is appealing for information from the public arising from the theft of telephone cable in the Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath areas in recent months.

"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 and when these cables are removed it can take two to three days in some cases to restore phone and internet services to affected households.

"This crime has a detrimental effect on older more vulnerable individuals living in rural communities as the loss of a phone service can significantly impact on their ability to access emergency services, medical alarm services and other supports.

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Damaged phone cable Photo: An Garda Siochana

Damaged phone cable Photo: An Garda Siochana

Damaged phone cable Photo: An Garda Siochana

"An Garda Síochána is today issuing an appeal to the public for assistance and is asking for vigilance in relation to this type of theft."

Gardai are now liaising with metal dealers and are appealing to them if they are approached to buy significant amounts of copper cable or copper in unusual circumstances to contact them.

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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 and that 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”.

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Photo: An Garda Siochana

Photo: An Garda Siochana

Photo: An Garda Siochana

He added: "These cables are located over ground on telephone poles and following these thefts cable casings are often left behind. Where a member of the public observes discarded casings they are urged to also make contact with their local Garda station as this information could be beneficial to this investigation”.

An incident room has been set up at Carrickmacross Garda Station and anyone with information can make contact with them on 042-9690190 or via their local Garda Station..

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