A man from Hailsham was arrested on suspicion of stealing railway cable following a police enquiry according to police.
He is currently on bail after officers discovered a large amount of railway cable at a small industrial estate in Framfield, police said.
The metal was found when officers and the Environment Agency and a Wealden District Pollution Officer visited the site after reports of rubber being burnt there.
The man was taken into custody by Uckfeild Police following the discovery on Monday, December 17, a spokesman said.
He has subsequently been bailed pending further enquiries, which will be carried out jointly with British Transport Police (BTP).
Inspector Tony Wakefield, from the Neighbourhood Policing Team, said that theft of metal was a problem that affected everyone.
He said: “In some cases it can put people at real risk and create major disruption.
“These thefts can range from manhole covers, power and phone lines to garden furniture.
“The remuneration the thieves receive is tiny when compared to the cost of the damage they cause and we need to catch and convict those responsible.
“This case is a good result where members of the community have reported suspicious activity which has been followed up by the appropriate authorities.”
A Southern Network spokesman said: “Cable theft causes major disruption for our passengers. Theft on one part of the Southern network has a knock-on effect to much of the rest, and it is our passengers who suffer the consequences, with serious delays, short notice alterations and cancellations to train services resulting as inevitable consequences.
“ We work closely with infrastructure owners, Network Rail to minimise the effects.”