Gadsden County authorities are looking for someone who pulled off a dangerous crime, not once, but twice within 3-days. They stole some copper wire that knocked-out cable, internet and phone service to 500-customers in the Chattahoochee area.
The cable company is now offering a reward for information in the case. Fair Point Communications customer Albert Moore thought it was just a glitch. "The TV just froze up. I waited for a while and thought maybe it would come back on, but it never did. That's when I got up and checked the phone and my phone was off and so I went in the room and checked the Internet service and it was off."
Kerry Anthony is Fair Point Communications Regional Operations Director. "Either the night of the 25th of December or early morning on the 26th someone went into 4 of our terminals in Chattahoochee, Florida they cut out a 600 pair cable and stole the copper. This caused approximately 500 people to be without service for over 24 hours."
Crews worked around the clock to restore the service. But not for long. "Sometime the night of the 27th or early morning on the 28th, the vandals came back. I assume it's the same people, they vandalized another 4 beds of cable."
The crimes cost fair point about 10-thousand dollars. It potentially could have cost the thieves a lot more. "A lot of people are scared of electricity no matter what the voltage is. This could be somebody that's familiar with the telephone industry. Unless they wore insulated gloves I'm sure they were shocked."
Not to mention the 500 customers who lost their ability to communicate a possible emergency. Moore believes the thefts are a sign of tough times. "We're all suffering because before this happened, in this same county, we had people breaking in churches, stealing the copper out of air condition, out of people's homes once they're away from home. It's just an ongoing problem."
Fair Point Communications is offering a 6 thousand dollar reward for information leading to the arrests.