'Lunatic' charged over cut Telstra cables
A man from Sydney's northern beaches cut cables which disrupted web and phone services.
A man has been charged over allegedly cutting Telstra cables on Sydney's northern beaches and causing millions of dollars in damage.
During September and November, up to 20 Telstra pits were accessed and damaged, cutting telecommunications to a large number of homes and businesses in the Manly and northern beaches areas, police said.
Police from Manly Local Area Command formed Strike Force Manway to investigate the incidents and on November 27 a man, 25 of Cromer, was charged with a number of offences relating to the alleged cable tampering.
Since that time a further four incidents of malicious damage have occurred in the area and on Friday police from Strike Force Manway executed a search warrant at a home of the same Cromer man, arresting him again.
He was taken to Manly police station and charged with 29 offences including 23 counts of malicious damage, four counts of breaching bail, one count of making false representation to police and one count of resisting arrest.
Police allege the man's actions caused millions of dollars in damage and disruption to services.
He was initially refused bail on Friday by police and was set to appear at Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday, where a magistrate granted him bail again.
The crime manager of Manly Local Area Command, Detective Inspector Luke Arthurs, labelled the man a "lunatic" who didn't appear to have a motive.
"I think he's a lunatic," Inspector Arthurs said.
"He hasn't got a motive. He didn't do it for financial gain."
Inspector Arthurs said thousands of residents and businesses were affected by the alleged actions, including the Manly police station, which was taken offline for about nine hours.
"We're talking about thousands of residents and businesses being affected," Inspector Arthurs said. "The loss of productivity would be in the millions [of dollars]."
Inspector Arthurs said the man cut cables, disrupting internet and telephone services, and that police learnt of this after business owners in the Seaforth area reported the problem.
The man is set to appear before Manly Local Court on Wednesday.
It's understood the type of cables cut were copper.