POLICE have launched an investigation following a spate of cable thefts from railway lines in Dorridge and Solihull, causing trains to be delayed or cancelled.
Detectives have said they believe the lines are being targeted late at night, with the thieves visiting the sites during the day to plan the thefts.
Part of the £500,000 worth of damage has been caused at Church Lane, Solihull, on November 16, Four Ashes Road, Dorridge on November 25, Dark Lane, Hatton on November 29 and Darley Green Road, near Dorridge on November 15.
Detective Constable Tim Friend said: "These thefts caused significant disruption to passengers and the rail industry. These attacks are not just attacks on the railway they have a direct impact on the day-to-day lives of thousands of passengers whose trains are delayed or cancelled, leading to people missing vital appointments, being late for work, or missing connecting trains or flights when travelling further afield."
Dyan Crowther, Network Rails route managing director said patrols are being stepped up at the railway stations.
"We are using covert cameras to provide evidence that can be used in court and I am appealing to local residents and anyone out and about late at night to keep their eyes and ears open, and report anything suspicious they see to British Transport Police."
Anyone with information is asked to call 0800 40 50 40 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting reference number B12/WWA of 29/11/2012.