NEARLY a mile of overhead electricity lines have been stolen by metal thieves in rural East Lancashire.

Several homes in the Roughlee area of Pendle were left without power after 1.5km of metal cabling, between overhead pylons, was taken in the early hours of yesterday.

Generators have been installed at the Pendleside village, as engineers seek to replace the missing cabling.

Electricity bosses have condemned the thieves, who have also targetted railway signalling, roofing and sub-station equipment in Burnley and Pendle.

Jane Fleetwood, response manager for Electricity North West, said: “Not only is this an incredibly dangerous crime but this latest incident has caused damage to a large section of the electricity network and has impacted residents’ power supplies.”

People with any information about this or other attacks should call the operator’s emergency 24-hour number on 0800 195 4141.