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Millions of Vodafone customers across the South lost services today when burglars smashed their way into a building and stole vital network equipment.
The raiders entered the building in Basingstoke early this morning (Monday 28th Feb) and took or damaged the network and IT hardware causing services to crash, Vodafone said.
There was a loss of voice, text and internet access across the south for millions of customers of the mobile phone giant.
A Vodafone spokesman said voice services were now up and running with text and data also due to be working soon.
"We had a break-in last night at one of our technical facilities which resulted in damage done to some of our equipment,'' the spokesman explained.
"This means that some customers may be experiencing temporary loss of voice, sms and internet services.
"We are working quickly to restore these and will be back to normal as soon as we can.
"There has been no impact on the privacy of customers' data.''
Hampshire Police have confirmed they are investigating the break-in.
They said police were called to a technical facility in Hamilton Close, owned by Vodafone, following reports that someone had broken into the building during the early hours of Monday, February 28.
They've confirmed computer equipment was stolen and damage was caused, which resulted in a temporary loss of service on the Vodafone network.
Detective Sergeant Lee McClellan, from Basingstoke CID, said:
“We are still in the very early stages of our investigation but at this stage it appears to be a targeted attack on these premises.
“We are conducting a number of enquiries but would like to hear from anyone who may have seen a vehicle in the Houndsmill area during the early hours of Monday morning, or any vehicles stopped on the A339. If you were in the area and saw anything suspicious, please get in touch.”
Anyone with any information should contact Det Sgt McClellan at Basingstoke police station on 101, via the website at www.hampshire.police.uk/internet/contact/message_officer.htm or call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.