Police are appealing for information after a large stretch of major dual carriageway into Leeds has been plunged into darkness after thieves stole street lighting cable.
Over a mile of the A63 link road, which runs between junction 45 of the M1 Motorway and the city centre, has been affected with in excess of £200,000 pounds of cable being stolen.
Police believe the thefts stretch back around four weeks and have affected the 1.2 mile stretch between the M1 and Thornes Farm way, Cross Green.
The thieves are thought to be attacking the relatively isolated stretch of road overnight and are likely to be posing as workmen and engineers.
As the thefts take place, half-mile sections of the road are being plunged into darkness endangering the safety of those using the carriageway.
Officials believe 32 metre sections of cable are being taken on each occasion with the outer casing being stripped at the roadside and the valuable metal component being taken and sold on.
Police have increased patrols in the area and made checks with scrap metal dealers across West Yorkshire and are now appealing for the public’s help.
Inspector Nick Smart, who leads the Crossgates, Whinmoor and Temple Newsam Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:
The dangers associated with this type of theft are not just confined to those driving on the road but also to those stealing the cables.
We’ve seen a number of incidents recently where people stealing high voltage electric cable have been killed or significantly burned.
I believe a number of people, perhaps shift workers or commercial drivers, who may have been on the road late at night or in the early hours of the morning, will have seen the thieves but believed they were workmen.
I would ask anyone who may have seen any activity that they now believe to be suspicious to get in touch with us.
Anyone with information is asked to contact PC David Lund at Killingbeck Police Station via: 0845 60 60 60 or by calling Crimestoppers, anonymously and in confidence, on: 0800 555 111.