POTENTIAL thieves had lifted a drain cover and cleared water as they prepared to steal telephone wire.
The potential thieves had also got as far as cutting the wire, in preparation to remove at a later stage.
Hampshire Constabulary is looking for witnesses about the incident that happened in North End Avenue, North End, Portsmouth, earlier today.
A police spokesman said: ‘Initial enquiries with BT have established that a drain cover was removed and water drained to locate the cabling.
‘There were signs the cabling had been cut in preparation to be removed at another time.’
Witnesses have told police they saw at least two men wearing high-visibility fluorescent jackets working on the drains in North End Avenue at around 10am.
Anyone with clues on the identity of the two men, or any other information relating to the incident, is asked to call the police.
Contact Fratton Police Station on 101, or the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.