A would-be thief could have killed himself after cutting through a high-voltage cable in Fife in the early hours of Thursday morning, police have revealed.
Officers from Police Scotland have issued a warning to members of the public and appealed for information after a substation was broken into in the Ballingry area at around midnight.
A 33,000 volt cable was cut at the Westfield Transforming Station off the B9097 which resulted in disruption to a nearby commercial property, although it is understood nothing of significance was taken in the raid.
But police and Scottish Power have warned that there could have been far more serious consequences if the apparent attempted theft of cabling had gone completely awry.
Inspector Gavin Cameron, of Cowdenbeath Police Station, said: “This was a hugely reckless act which could have impacted the nearby communities and caused severe injury, or even death, to the perpetrator.
“We believe the intention was to steal cabling and that a vehicle, and possibly a mini digger, may have been used.
“We’d urge anyone who saw suspicious behaviour in the area, or has any information about this, to get in touch with us as soon as possible.
“If those responsible read this I would urge them to seek medical attention immediately.”
Ewan McMillan, Scottish Power Energy Networks district manager responsoble for the Fife area, said: “This is not a victimless crime. Illegal tampering with anything that links to the electricity network can be extremely dangerous and whoever was behind this vandalism clearly doesn’t care about the consequences.
“In the last few years we have seen cable thefts that have resulted in house fires at nearby properties.
“Though fortunately no homes were affected in this incident, it beggars belief that anyone could risk the safety of local people in this way.
“We will work closely with the police to help catch those responsible, but we would also encourage anyone who has any information on those responsible to come forward.”
Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting incident number 0136 of November 9, or report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.