Three people have been arrested on suspicion of three counts of theft of railway cable.
A 55-year-old man from Pontnewydd, a 40-year-old man from Trealaw and a 43-year-old man from Tonypandy were all arrested on suspicion of theft of cables.
The trio have been bailed until the 16th June pending further enquiries.
British Transport Police would like to extend their thanks the public for their assistance with the appeal.
Original Story posted on the 8th April
Thieves have caused more than 15 hours of disruption to passengers following three separate attacks on the rail network in Rhondda Cynon Taff in the past three weeks.
The thefts have caused hundreds of Valleys Lines trains to be delayed and cancelled, whilst also resulting in significant costs to the rail industry.
Investigations are well underway, but British Transport Police Officers are now urging members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious individuals or activity.
A reward of up to £1,000 is being offered jointly by Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those responsible.
Leading the British Transport Police investigation is PC Paul Broaders, from the Proactive Crime Team;
“These three thefts have caused huge disruption to passengers and the rail network – not to mention the serious financial implications for the rail industry.
“Extensive enquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible for these criminal attacks. Directed patrols are being carried out across the area – including officers patrolling on foot, in vehicles and with police dogs – to catch and deter criminals, and we also work closely with South Wales Police to gather intelligence on suspects.
“While we are currently investigating a number of leads, I would like to urge members of the public and scrap metal businesses to be vigilant and report any information which may help us prevent these crimes taking place and subsequently catch these thieves, who are nothing but parasitic opportunists that prey on law-abiding taxpayers.
“We welcome the reward put forward by Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales, which emphasises the seriousness of this type of crime.”
Dave Cartwright, operations risk advisor for Network Rail Wales;
“Cable theft is not a victimless crime. Train delays and cancellations directly affect people getting to work, visiting family and travelling to hospital appointments. Cable thieves disrupt people’s lives and we will continue working with British Transport Police to protect the rail network upon which our economy relies.”
- Officers were called to the track on Wednesday, 6 April, following a report of signal failure between Porth and Dinas Rhondda.
After conducting a search of the area, it was discovered that 130 metres of cable had been stolen which caused 26 trains to be delayed for a total of 187 minutes and a further 22 trains to be cancelled.
The incident comes after two other attacks on the rail network in our area in the past three weeks.
- On Thursday, 17 March, 15m of cable was stolen from the railway in Dinas Rhondda, resulting in more than 300 minutes of delays.
- On Wednesday, 23 March, thieves struck again at the same location, stealing 170m of cable. A total of 90 trains were affected by this theft, resulting in 472 minutes of delays.
PC Broaders added;
“Thefts such as these have little financial benefit but ultimately put people’s lives at risk
The stolen cable is of no real value to anyone outside the railway industry, yet the cost to replace it is extremely high.
In fact, thieves will struggle to get any money at all, as scrap metal dealers simply will not accept railway cable.
The railway is a dangerous environment, and anyone who attempts to steal cable risks serious injury – or even death – through electrocution.
“My message to these thieves is simple: if you are foolish enough to risk your own life to fund your lifestyle, we will do everything in our power to find you, to arrest you and make full use of the law to ensure you will not be in a position to commit offences for many years to come.”
Anyone with any information about these thefts should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or you can text 61016.
Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111