4,500 feet of copper stolen from AT&T; service down for several days — Hendersonville, NC
Copper crooks have their eyes on a new target in North and South Carolina: AT&T telephone lines. In the past two weeks, thieves stole 4,500 feet of copper telephone cables from telephone poles in Hendersonville, N.C., leaving people without phone and internet service. 72 year old Barbara Myers was one of them. “It was out for 10 days,” the resident remembers. “It was aggravating.”
Just this year, there have been 9 incidents copper thefts from AT&T poles in N.C. 14 have occured in S.C., according to spokesman Josh Gelinas. In 2011, there were 125 incidents across North Carolina, and 30 in S.C. The cases have been so bad, the company just put up a reward of $3,000 for any information leading to an arrest in the case near Myers’ neighborhood. “It’s the first time we’re had to go to that extreme,” says Gelinas. “But it’s gotten so bad.”
Gelinas says the company incurs a huge cost replacing the poles and lines, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars so far. “We try to leave a cushion for things like that, but eventually those costs add up, and get passed on,” says Gelinas.
AT&T is working with law enforcement agencies and scrap metal dealers to catch those reponsible, but they’re also asking for your help.