Attempted metal heist leaves 2.5million Greater Manchester homes with disrupted TV, phones and internet

By Marios Papaloizou

More than two million Greater Manchester homes were left with disrupted television, telephone, and broadband services last week following an attempted heist of BT cables – and now £1,000 is being offered to catch the culprits.

The would-be thieves forced open a manhole cover on Manchester Road, Oldham, and made their way down a 20ft deep shaft to the complex telephone cable system.

While most of the issues affecting homes were resolved within an hour, the incident left BT engineers working around the clock to restore full service to all customers.

Now £1,000 is being offered for information leading to the culprits’ arrest.

The incident began sometime before 11.40pm on Wednesday June 26, but the thieves eventually left empty handed shortly after 12.40am the next day.

Greater Manchester Police remain committed to stopping metal theft – with operation alloy being set up in 2011 to curb increasing theft numbers – and Superintendent Craig Thompson echoed this sentiment.

“Even though they left empty handed, we are committed to bringing them to justice,” he said.

Kevin Brown, the general manager of BT’s metal theft task force has urged anyone with any information to come forward.

Anyone with any information should call police on 0161 856 8825 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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