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March 30, 2011

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Men 'donned telecom uniforms to steal cable'

THIEVES wore telecom company uniforms to avoid suspicion while stealing kilometers of cable across the city, police said yesterday.

Eleven men have been detained and two others are on bail for the alleged theft, officers said.

The gang targeted reserve cable - rolls of cable left underground for use in repairs - which made their crimes more difficult to detect, said Hongkou District police.

So far, four cases have been confirmed in Hongkou, Yangpu and Zhabei districts, in which more than 1 million yuan (US$152,420) of cable was stolen.

On January 26, more than 1,000 meters of cable worth 500,000 yuan stored under Dantu Road, Dongchangzhi Road and Shangqiu Road in Hongkou was reported stolen by a telecom company, police said.

Officers scanned street camera footage and pinpointed two distinctive yellow trucks "working" in the streets about 10pm the previous night. In the aftermath, men were detained in Shanghai and Zhejiang and Anhui provinces.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that the city's power grid suffers from damage caused by external factors almost every other day, causing sudden power cuts.

Careless construction, wire theft, flying kites and even nesting birds are major threats to power supply safety, the Shanghai Electric Power Co Ltd said yesterday. It recorded 173 incidents last year, up from 157 in 2009.


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