Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 11:31 UK

Substation copper thieves 'putting lives at risk'

Electricity substation
Cabling has been stolen from several substations

An increase in copper cable thefts from substations in Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire has been reported by electricity company Central Networks.

The company also warned vandals were putting their lives in danger by breaking into the sites.

In separate incidents last week thieves broke into key substations and ripped out vital equipment.

Crimestoppers has offered a reward of £1,000 for information leading to the conviction of thieves.

Phil Wilson, customer operations manager for Central Networks, said: "This type of vandalism is becoming all too a common a trend, it brings thieves little financial reward and could cost them their life.

"These people really need to wake up to the reality that their behaviour can not only cause a huge inconvenience to others but, by ignoring safety warnings, they risk being seriously injured or even killed.

"It really could be the last thing they do."

The electricity company said in an incident at a substation on Stapleford Lane in Toton, Nottinghamshire, thieves risked being fatally injured after stealing copper cabling at a site receiving a direct feed from Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station, carrying 132,000 volts.

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