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The theft of copper cable along an MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) rail line caused extensive delays and crowding for hundreds of thousands of riders yesterday, according to MTA officials.NYCT is working with the New York Police Department to investigate the theft, which impacted service along all 31 miles of the A train, NYCT President Carmen Bianco said in a press release.The loss of the power cables forced the agency to suspend service between the Rockaway Boulevard and Broad Channel stations. In addition, trains stored in the Rockaway Park yard are stuck there, NYCT officials said.Service was disrupted along the entire length of the C line, as well.The lines carry 775,000 customers per day, including 100,000 riders during the morning rush hour.It's believed the power cable was stolen to be sold as scrap. NYCT officials estimate at least 500 feet of cable was stolen at about 12 locations along the A train tracks near Howard Beach.Some signal equipment and track components were also damaged due to electrical current that could not flow through the missing cable. Crews are working to rebuild the damaged infrastructure as soon as possible, NYCT officials said.Metal theft is a serious and expensive problem for the railroad industry, according to experts who spoke at Progressive Railroading's Secure Rail conference earlier this year.
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