Man arrested following ongoing telephone cable theft in four counties
Call the police. Oh wait, you can't.
A man has been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into the theft of telephone cable in four separate counties.
The man, aged in his 30s, has been detained under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at an undisclosed Garda station in the north western region.
The cable theft has taken place in the Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath areas.
Gardaí previously issued an appeal to the public in February, seeking information regarding the theft. In the preceding six months, 66 incidents of cable theft had been reported across the country. The vast majority of those occurred in the aforementioned Cavan, Monaghan, Louth and Meath areas.
Gardaí noted that the cables were 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," said a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána.
The thefts primarily took place in rural locations. Gardaí referred to the "detrimental" effect of such activity, with it often taking two to three days to restore phone and Internet services in 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," the spokesperson added.
At the time of the initial investigation, over 1,500 households had their services disrupted due to thefts of this nature.
"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," said Sgt Michael Duffy, Crime Prevention Office for Cavan/Monaghan Division.
"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."