DETECTIVES are trying to trace these men after a string of graffiti attacks on Metros.
British Transport Police (BTP) have today issued CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to after a train was spray-painted at South Hylton.
A similar attack was carried out earlier that day at St James’s Park station, in Newcastle.
Officers believe the two may be linked.
Pc Mick Proudfoot, who is investigating the attacks, said: “Two men were seen onboard a Metro heading towards South Hylton station in the early evening.
“After leaving South Hylton shortly before 8pm, the pair returned 30 minutes later, where they accessed the track from some bushes and carried out their attack, spray painting a side of a Metro carriage.
“After the attack, they were seen to head off along the track towards Pallion station.”
As part of the investigation, officers trawled through hours of CCTV footage and discovered the men onboard a Metro studying a map carefully.
Images of this were sent across the police intelligence systems, but it failed to net the criminals.
Pc Proudfoot said: “The costs associated with cleaning trains means it is ultimately the fare-paying passenger who has to pay for this damage.”
He added: “BTP takes criminal damage in the form of graffiti on the rail network extremely seriously and we will seek to catch and prosecute those who commit such crimes.
“Some people consider graffiti to be art but in reality it is nothing more than selfish vandalism that makes people fearful of their surroundings and costs the railway industry thousands of pounds to clean up.”
“I would like to appeal for anyone who may have any information in relation to these graffiti attacks, or those who committed them to contact BTP in strict confidence.”
The graffiti attack took place on September 21.
Anyone with information is asked to phone BTP on Freefone 0800 40 50 40 quoting background reference B10/NEA of 11/10/2011, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.