British Transport Police (BTP) officers are appealing for information after 80 metres of cable was cut and taken from the rail line close to Hull station in the early hours of this morning (Friday, 18 November).
Detectives are continuing their investigation into the incident which was reported to police shortly after 1am.
Officers attended the scene, alongside Humberside Police and Network Rail engineers, and conducted an area search.
The cable was found nearby hidden amongst shrubbery, cut and ready to be taken away.
Detective Inspector Mick Jackson, of BTP’s dedicated cable team Operation Leopard, said:
“This theft has caused considerable disruption to early morning commuters in the Humberside area.
“The thieves had clearly planned their attack on the railway and removed the cable from the area ready to return later on and take it away.
“We were quickly able to attend and locate the cable, stopping the criminals from returning later on to recover the cable and make a few pounds.”
A reward of up to £1,000 has been put up by Crimestoppers, in partnership with Network Rail, for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.
DI Jackson added: “What thieves don’t realise is that they can be working on live cable, carrying up to 25,000 volts, which can cause extensive burns. In this incident, the thieves could have been seriously injured or even killed for their mindless efforts.
“The act of stealing, or attempting to steal, cable is extremely dangerous and anyone who has any information about the incident, or who saw any suspicious activity in the area, is asked to come forward.”
Northern Rail and Transpennine Express services have been affected as a result of the theft.