Metal thieves disrupt phone service after stealing cables outside Limerick

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

HOUSEHOLDERS were left without a phone service after thieves removed 150 metres of cable suspended over the roadside on the outskirts of the city.

HOUSEHOLDERS were left without a phone service after thieves removed 150 metres of cable suspended over the roadside on the outskirts of the city.

It is the second time that criminals, who are believed to be after copper encased in the cables to capitalise on the rising price of scrap metals, have struck in the Ballysheedy area in recent weeks.

Eircom confirmed this week that gardai are investigating the latest incident.

“Eircom engineers attended a site at Rathuard, Ballysheedy outside Limerick city over the weekend, to replace approximately 150 metres of cable that was stolen. This is the second theft in the area within a two-week period. We are liaising with local gardai who are investigating the matter,” the telecoms company said in a statement to the Limerick Leader.

The stolen cable is made from a combination of cadmium and copper and it is believed the rising price of copper is leading to an increase in this type of crime.

A number of cases have come before Limerick District Court at which criminals have targeted copper wiring in derelict houses while construction sites and builders yards have also been targeted. There are reports in Dublin of manhole covers fitted by Eircom and the ESB being stolen while, more locally, car batteries are also being targeted by thieves scavenging metal.

In one recent case, a Polish gang had travelled all the way to Limerick to steal scrap metal.