Two suspected thieves have been arrested following the theft of a telecommunications cable which left villagers near Maidstone unable to use devices or connect to the internet. Homes in Mereworth were cut off after an estimated 500 metres of cable was stolen from a location near The Street overnight, between Thursday 9 and Friday 10 May 2024.

The theft, thought to be worth around £12,000, also reportedly caused £3,000 worth of damage to farmland.

Police carried out initial enquiries, including a review of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) data and detectives identified several vehicles suspected to be involved in the theft and one was later seized from the East Peckham area.

Less than 24 hours later, two men in their 20s were arrested and a subsequent search led to the recovery of cabling and tools.

A man from Orpington was later charged with theft and criminal damage. The 28-year-old appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on Monday 13 May, and remains in custody pending a further hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on 10 June.

A second suspect has been bailed until 5 August, pending further enquiries.

By Ed

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