British Transport Police (BTP) officers are appealing for information following an attempted cable theft in the Farnborough area on Thursday, 9 June.
Investigators want to hear from anyone with information about the incident at a substation in Farnborough, which resulted in over 9,000 minutes of delays and compounded existing problems on the network.
Superintendent Andrew Ball said: “At present it’s unclear exactly how much damage was caused, but what we do know is that this incident compounded delays elsewhere and resulted in disruption to a large number of services.
“We’ve launched an investigation to determine the full circumstances and are appealing for anyone with information about the incident to contact us.
“Theft of metal and copper cable impacts on many industries and communities but those who steal, and in this case try to steal, simply do not care who their behaviour affects.
“As shown by this incident, the theft of railway cable can result in lengthy delays and cancellations to rail services, whilst elsewhere the theft of other items such as residential earthing cable or communications cable can have a serious impact on people’s homes and businesses.
“The act of stealing, or attempting to steal, cable is extremely dangerous. What the thieves don’t realise is that they are working on live cable, carrying high voltages, which can cause extensive burns. By attempting to steal it they are putting their lives at risk.”
Anyone with any information about cable theft should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or Crimestoppers where they can report the crime anonymously and could receive up to £1,000 reward if their information leads to a conviction.