Criminals dicing with death caused bank holiday misery for Metro passengers after stealing cable from lines in South Tyneside.
Thieves struck overnight on Sunday at part of the line in Hebburn - causing trains to be pulled from service between Pelaw and South Shields, yesterday morning.
A bus replacement service was put in place while work to repair the damage was carried out.
The full service was eventually restored just before 2pm.
The theft was reported to police at around 7am, yesterday. A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said the incident is being dealt with by the force’s Metro Unit.
It is the second time within a month the Metro line in Hebburn has been targeted by criminals causing disruption to services for passengers.
A £1,000 cash reward is being offered by Nexus for information leading to the conviction of the people or persons responsible for the cable theft.
A Nexus spokesman said: “This has been reported to the police and we are offering £1,000 reward for information that leads to the thieves being caught.”
Two weeks ago thousands of commuters were left stranded when Metro chiefs were forced to halt services for a number of hours between Pelaw and South Shields, following the theft of a substantial amount of cable which caused a fault in the system.
It led to Northumbria Police’s Metro Unit issuing a warning to criminals of the risk they are taking stealing cable from lines.
At the time, Sergeant Tim Hand, of Northumbria Police’s Metro Unit, said: “We always take this type of theft very seriously and are now urging the public to help us with the ongoing investigation.
“I would like to reiterate the dangers of interfering with live cables on the tracks. “They are handling live wires, which could cause serious burns or injuries.”
Police are currently working alongside Nexus to find those responsible.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.