Thieves target copper telephone cables.
Gardaí have warned the public to be on alert for copper thieves who target telephone lines and heating cylinders.
Laois-Offaly Garda Crime Prevention Officer Graham Kavanagh members of the public to be aware that Gardaí and Eir have noticed an increase in the theft of copper.
This involves the removal of phone lines along roadsides which appear to be occurring during dark hours in rural areas. The criminals involved are targeting the small quantity of copper contained in this cabling.
There have been 14 such incidents in the division over the last few weeks. While it has been sporadic in neighbouring counties, Laois and Offaly have been worst hit.
Another noticeable area of concern is the targeting of copper cylinders and piping from vacant premises.
Gardaí advise owners to ensure vacant properties are secured well if such items are to be left there or remove them if the property is to be left vacant for indefinite periods.
The Crime Prevention Officer asked the public to contact their local garda station if they have witnessed any suspicious activity.