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Copper cable thieves knock out broadband to nearly 130 homes and businesses in Everton

THIEVES stealing copper cable knocked out broadband and phone lines to nearly 130 homes and businesses in a New Forest village.

One affected resident said he saw whom he thought were those responsible for the crime during a morning walk.

A spokesperson for BT Openreach confirmed 128 homes and businesses were cut off on Monday.

70 metres of cable were taken (picture: Keith Heppell)
70 metres of cable were taken (picture: Keith Heppell)

One of the roads affected was Golden Crescent, where Michael Davis lives.

He told the A&T: “I suddenly discovered on Monday that I had no dial tone on my phone. I checked with neighbours, and they had the same problem so I reported it to my provider, Plusnet, and they got in touch with BT.

“I then got a phone call to say they were working on the problem, and that thieves had stolen of copper cable from under the pavement.”

Golden Crescent in Everton (picture: Google)
Golden Crescent in Everton (picture: Google)

Michael said that during his regular morning walks over the weekend, he saw activity which could have been related to the crime.

“The strange thing is, I did notice two guys in yellow jackets a couple of days before who’d obviously started their process, digging a hole under the pavement, tying a piece of rope to the cable, cutting the other end and pulling it out.

“I had no idea, I thought they were BT, but they were there both days over the weekend.

“I used to work in comms, and these cables are worth quite a bit of money.”

An Openreach spokesperson confirmed the theft: “We’re really disappointed that residents in the Everton area have borne the brunt of criminal behaviour and theft from our network. These attacks cause significant damage and unacceptable disruption to the lives of local people and put vulnerable people at risk.

“Our cable was cut on Monday and the damage has impacted phone and broadband services to around 128 local homes and businesses. Engineers are working to restore services as quickly and safely as possible.”

The spokesperson said the firm was using anti-theft technology to help track stolen cable, and was working closely with Hampshire police over the incident.

“We encourage anyone who is experiencing problems to contact their provider who will advise us.

“We urge people to report any suspicious activity to the police; if members of the public do believe a crime is in progress then they should dial 999.”

A spokesperson from Hampshire police said: “We can confirm that we received a report of theft of 70m of copper network cable from Lymington Road, Milford.

“If anyone was in the area at the time of the incident and witnessed anything suspicious, they should call 101 and quote incident number 44240180841.

“Please also get in touch if you have any footage of the incident, including CCTV, doorbell camera, dash cam or mobile phone.”

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