Published Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Engineers are working to restore power. (© UTV)
The facility on the Mill Road was targeted at around 6pm on Tuesday.
Damage caused during the attack left live wires exposed and power had to be shut off as a precaution, leaving 12 homes in Mill Road and Mill Drive in the dark for a time.
A statement from police said: "Power had to be shut off as a precaution and police would advise members of the public not to approach or touch any of these exposed wires."
Police added that the stolen wire is worth several thousand pounds.
Northern Ireland Electricity condemned those responsible.
A spokesperson said: "NIE has condemned vandals who broke into an electricity substation earlier this evening in the Mill Road area of Newtownabbey in an attempt to steal electricity cables. The damage left 12 homes without electricity for a short period of time.
"NIE cannot stress strongly enough the risk of electrocution that vandals face when they deliberately damage or interfere with electrical equipment."
The thieves made off in a silver coloured VW Passat car or a white Transit van with two blue stripes on the bonnet. Anyone who witnessed the incident has been asked to come forward.