Police suspect copper cables stolen from railways in Yamaguchi

Police say someone may have stolen copper cables from rail tracks in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan.

West Japan Railway Company says its workers found this week that more than 100 copper cable components called rail bonds had been removed.

The problem was found at Ajisu Station on the JR Ube Line and on the JR Sanyo Line in Ube City.

JR West temporarily suspended train services on the two lines for repair work.

Rail bonds are bundles of conductive wires. They are attached to joints on the rails and allow electrical currents to flow through the track to signals.

The railway company says the diameter of a rail bond is more than several centimeters. It says someone likely used a keen-edged tool to cut them off.

Police are investigating the incident as a possible theft as the damage was done in a wide area.