Police are appealing for information after a metal theft in North Tyneside that left hundreds of homes without power.
Between 10:30pm and 11:30pm on Monday15 April, thieves broke into an electricity sub station in Staithes Avenue in Longbenton, and stole metal cable from inside.
The theft caused a number of homes in Staithes Avenue, Goathland Avenue, Yewburn Way, Lythe Way, Whitbay Crescent and Elmsford Groves to then lose power.
The damage also caused a power surge in the area and a number of people had electrical items like game consoles, white goods and boilers damaged.
Anyone with information about the theft, or who may have witnessed any suspicious behaviour around sites such as power stations, can speak to police by calling 101.
"We think the theft happened between 10:30pm and 11:30pm on Monday evening and one witness reported seeing two men in Goathland Avenue around midnight pushing a trolley and carrying something. I'd urge anyone who might have seen anything suspicious to contact us with information.
"The electrical engineers who attended told officers that whoever broke in and stole the metal were millimetres from getting themselves electrocuted and possibly even killed. The power surge it caused could have easily caused a number of house fires.
"Those who commit this type of crime are putting their lives, and the lives of others, at risk."
Thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused to the Masonic Lodge in Bournopfield, County Durham, after metal thieves stripped lead from the roof. The 19th century building was targeted twice over Christmas.
It is estimated that the value of the stolen lead is £150 but around £7,000 worth of damage has been caused by flooding after large holes were left in the roof.
Whitby police are appealing for information about the theft of two memorial plaques. They were taken from the side of the A169 at Saltersgate bank, between Wednesday 25 and Friday 27 July 2012.
The metal plaques were in memory of Carl Roe, 21, of Fountains Close,Whitby who died as the result of a road traffic collision on Friday 16 March 2012.
One of the plaques is 2ft high with a photograph of Carl and a poem attached. The second is oval and bears the inscription “Carl Roe, 19 02 1991 to 16 03 2012, Gone but not forgotten”.
"The whole family is completely devastated by this horrible theft, coming so soon after the loss of Carl.
“We simply cannot understand how anyone could be this heartless."
– Alison Roe, mother of Carl Roe
"The thieves who stole the plaques have committed a truly despicable crime. It is very obvious that the plaques will have been placed there only recently in memory of a much loved family member and their theft is an act of the most heartless callousness."