RESIDENTS in a York village have been without phone lines and the internet after thieves stole 142 metres of cable.

Thieves used a vehicle to pull cable out of the ground from an underground exchange box just outside Naburn, near the sewage works on the B1222.

The theft took place between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

BT customers lost their connection and a company spokeswoman said 500 metres of a large cable now needed completely replaced. The company received 82 reported faults.

The spokeswoman said engineers began working yesterday to repair the damage.

She said: “We have suffered an attack on our network which has caused loss of service to customers in the Naburn area. Engineers are working to restore service to customers and we are giving this the highest priority.”

Engineers are inspecting the cable ducts and, if they are intact, they will run the new cable through and begin reconnecting customers one by one. She said BT hoped most customers would be back in service today.

One resident, Eric Broadbent, said: “I had got up Sunday morning and gone to check my emails when I noticed there was no blue light on the router. Then I realised the phone were not working either.

“It has caused quite a lot of disruption to the village – affecting both homes and businesses.”

The BT spokeswoman said: “Malicious damage and cable theft cause widespread disruption to local communities and we would appeal to anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact Crimestoppers.”

BT uses many security measures in the fight against cable theft, including RABIT technology that alerts police within minutes of a cable being cut, anywhere in the UK, SmartWater, the invisible paint that tags thieves and work with Crimestoppers, which offers up to £1,000 reward for information leading to arrests and subsequent convictions.

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111, or police by phoning on 101.