Twenty years ago the aluminium railings were nicked from a railway bridge down the road, over four separate nights, and no one heard a thing. Cell phones have mitigated the inconvenience of telephone cable theft, but it can still disrupt Internet access. And many have been late for work because of the theft of railway signal cables.
Now, it seems, the Brits are suffering from the same problem. Will it rile up even the phlegmatic Brits so much that they'll start burning railway carriages and stations when the trains are late?
Police have launched a nationwide crackdown on the soaring trend of metal theft which is said to cost the economy £360 million every year.
It comes after five men were questioned in Plymouth over the theft of four bronze war memorial plaques.
Theft of all metal has risen on average 150% in the last two years with signalling cable, bronze statues, drain hole covers and metal from church and school roofs targeted frequently.