Highlands & Islands

BT offers reward over subsea cable theft bid in Highlands

Lochcarron. Pic: Mick Garratt/Geograph
Image caption The damaged cable crosses Loch Carron between Lochcarron and Strathcarron

BT is offering a reward for information that could help trace metal thieves who caused communication chaos in the north west Highlands.

Thousand of customers were affected on Thursday afternoon when an attempt was made to steal a fibre optic subsea cable running across Loch Carron.

There was no metal in it but the damage caused a major failure of phone, internet and cash machine services.

Police are also keen to trace a van seen near the rail line at Stromeferry.

A spokesman for Northern Constabulary said passengers on Thursday's 12:03 train from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness may have observed the dark coloured vehicle.

The force would also like to hear from any passengers who may have seen anyone adjacent to the railway line in this area.

The problem affected the areas served by exchanges at Ardvaser, Balallan, Duntulm, Glendale, Glenshiel, Kilillan, Scalpay, Skeabost and Uig, and was not fixed until Friday evening.

The 1,000m (3,281ft) cable crosses Loch Carron between the villages of Lochcarron and Strathcarron in Wester Ross.

The thieves damaged it while trying to dig it up at low tide on Thursday.

BT Openreach are offering a reward of up to £1,000 for information that leads to a conviction.

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