WOULD-BE thieves botched a cable theft after realising their loot was worthless.
Police are appealing for witnesses after thieves tried to steal a 900ft underground power cable from Nattress Terrace in Wingate.
It was discovered by engineers after a power outage was reported on February 18.
But Sergeant Steve Hawkes, of Peterlee Police, said the cable was cut, probably for valuable copper, but was abandoned when the culprits realised the inner metal was actually aluminium, which is virtually worthless.
Anyone with information about the attempt theft should call Peterlee Police on 101.