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Thieves who risked their lives to steal metal cables caused part of the Central Line to close yesterday morning.

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The line was closed eastbound between Newbury Park and Hainault when the theft was discovered at 7am but service resumed at 8am.

British Transport Police found around 10m of live cable had been removed from the line near Barkingside station.

It is believed the theft took place between 12am and 7.05am on Sunday.

The electric current that powers the trains is switched off around 1am at night so maintenance can be carried out while the Tube is closed.

A TfL spokesman said: “TfL works closely with the BTP to deter cable theft from the Tube and DLR networks.

“Covert operations, community lead intelligence and the use of CCTV are all used to disrupt and investigate cable theft incidents.”

Anyone with information is asked to call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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