Thieves steal 'substantial amount' of cable leaving thousands of passengers without Metro service
A Â£1,000 reward is being offered by Metro bosses as investigations begin into a cable theft which has led to a halt to services between South Shields and Pelaw.
Passengers will be able to use their tickets on Go North East services 26 and 27 and all Stagecoach services in the affected area, with the 900 bus replacement service also running.
Northumbria Police has joined Metro operator Nexus in appealing for information after the theft of cable, which has caused disruption for travel for thousands of transport users this morning.
The theft happened in the South Drive area of Hebburn overnight.
Thieves made away with a substantial amount of cable, causing a fault in the system.
As a result, significant disruption has been caused across South Tyneside with trains between Pelaw and South Shields cancelled this morning as engineers carry out repairs.
Inquiries are ongoing and police are now urging anybody with information about the theft to come forward and assist with the investigation.
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.
“Such offences also cause a huge amount of disruption, and we are working closely with our partners at Nexus to tackle this issue and bring offenders to justice.
Nexus are offering a Â£1,000 cash reward for information leading to the conviction of the people or persons responsible for the cable theft.
A spokesperson for Metro said: "Metro is currently suspended between Pelaw and South Shields due to cable theft, which caused a power failure when trains ran through the section this morning.
"Our engineers are currently walking the area to identify and replace stolen cable sections and make repairs.
"We offer a Â£1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for cable theft, and we urge anyone with information to contact police.
"The 900 replacement bus service is operating between Heworth and South Shields.
"Staff at stations are helping customers.
"We're sorry for the inconvenience this theft has caused.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference 0052 160518.