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Large-scale organised theft sees 142km of ESB power cable stolen since January

Gardai arrested five men in connection to the theft of up to 142km of ESB overhead power cables nationwide over the past few months.

The large scale organised theft involved climbing the electrical poles and cutting large amounts of copper wire over a period of several hours.

Gardai report the crime to have resulted in power outages to large sections of the country, as well as 'presenting a serious danger to the public' and resulting in €4.6m worth of damage since the beginning of the year.

Gardai began the arrest operation at 4.40am this morning and were supported by the Garda Air Support Unit.

Five men were arrested and two were released without charge.

The three other men have been charged and are expected to appear before the Criminal Courts of Justice tomorrow morning.

Two cars were also seized.

The investigation is continuing.

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