Metal theft has forced the closure of a pedestrian bridge.
Thieves stole wire, estimated to be worth just £20, from the Puddlers Bridge at Pentrebach, Wales.
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has put the cost of repairing the damage at up to £12,000.
The wire ran laterally along the bridge between its handrail and deck, and its loss has made the structure unsafe to use. It will be closed for repairs for several weeks.
Thieves took some 912m from the parapet on both the approach ramps
Police inspector Clare Hallett, said: “These mindless and reckless thieves have put the safety of the public in danger.
“The wire was vital for the safety of people using the bridge, so it is lucky no incidents have occurred.”
David Jones, cabinet member for technical and environmental customer services, said that despite the wire’s low value the repairs would cost between £10,000-12,000.
The bridge was opened as part of a regeneration programme a year ago to provide a link on a pedestrian trail between Pentrebach and Merthyr Tydfil.
Police said there had been a spate of metal thefts in the area. All four Welsh police forces last autumn set up Operation Tornado to counter the problem, which led to 20 arrests in Caerphilly last October.