New Castle News

April 24, 2013

Verizon offering $50,000 reward to solve phone cable theft

Debbie Wachter
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — New Castle police are investigating the removal of about 300 feet of cable from a pole on the North Hill.

The wires are the property of Verizon, according to police reports.

The police received a call around 3 p.m. Thursday from a  Verizon splicing technician who said the company had received calls about Verizon service disruptions from Canyon Street, north.

Police found 300 feet of cable on the ground on Locust Street that had been cut down from the poles between Locust and Canyon streets.

Verizon said earlier this month that it is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of whoever is responsible for recent thefts of phone lines in Lawrence County.

Similar thefts have occurred this year in New Bedford and New Castle and have put public safety at risk for hundreds of customers and have caused unnecessary telephone service outages, according to a company-issued statement.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been four incidents in Lawrence County that have caused thousands of dollars worth of damages and unnecessary telephone service delays for hundreds of customers.

Verizon is working with state and local law enforcement authorities to find and prosecute those responsible, the statement noted.

Other incidents in Lawrence County were:

 •A theft of 175 feet of aerial cable cut and stolen from poles on Evergreen Road in New Bedford Jan. 18.

 •A theft of 350 feet of aerial copper cable  cut and stolen from poles on Evergreen Road Jan. 21.  

 •The theft of 500 feet of aerial copper cable cut from a pole on Cherry Street in West Pittsburg March 12.

 The company asks anyone with information about any of these crimes to contact Verizon security at (800) 997-3287, or local law enforcement authorities.

 The Pulaski Township police can be reached at (724) 964-8891 and the New Castle police at (724) 656-3576.

 “The reward still stands as we look for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of people responsible for this,” Verizon spokesman Lee Giercynski said yesterday.

“Verizon and law enforcement are following up on a number of leads,” he said.