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Most Verizon Service Restored After Cables Stolen

Posted February 24, 2008
Updated February 25, 2008

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— Verizon said Sunday night they had restored service to the majority of Durham customers affected by two stolen cables. The disruption left about 480 customers without landline or cell phone and Internet services.

Thieves took aerial cables from Hopson Road and 1014 S. Hoover Road between late Friday and early Saturday – a task that required timing and equipment.

“We think it was a situation where they knew what they were doing,” said Bob Elek, a media-relations manager for Verizon.

Elek also said he believes someone stole the cables to sell the copper.

"You know, copper thefts, unfortunately, have become a little more common these days since the value of copper has gone up,” he added.

The theft of the Hopson Road cable affected about 80 working connections, while the loss of the Hoover Road cable impacted about 400 working connections, including those in the Wellons Village area, near N.C. Highway 54.

Crews had replaced most of the cables by Sunday night, Elek said. Full service should be restored by Monday morning.

The repair to the Hoover Road cable required Verizon to find 730 feet of a specialty cable, Elek said. The cable was driven in from a location about 90 miles away.

The Hopson Road cable was more easily replaced, because it was of a common variety.

Durham police said they have alerted scrap metal companies along the East Coast. They want those companies to be on the lookout for anyone who might be trying to sell those types of cable.


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  • Huey Feb 25, 2008

    This is a "third world" type heist. I read of this happening in
    places like South Africa but I am amazed to hear of it here now.
    It must be stopped and if that means changes to the methods of
    metal recycling then so be it.

  • workerbee Feb 25, 2008

    I suspose if this becomes more common, maybe it'll be an excuse for the Telecoms to install optical fiber to the home as the infastucture rather than copper. It's got to happen sooner or later.

  • shine Feb 25, 2008

    I does like more like an inside job... That many feet I twould think they would have to re spool it somehow - at least one bucket truck. That must be a lonely side of town - this caper was not a 'get in and out' quickly job for sure.

  • SaveEnergyMan Feb 25, 2008

    It was some pretty big and heavy stuff. You'd have to have some big equipment to get it down, move it, and roll it up. Cashing in on it would be difficult too, most of that is small wires coated in plastic all bundled together, so you's spend a lot of time separating it. Almost sounds like an inside job.

  • shine Feb 25, 2008

    It is getting pretty bad - when they quit stealing it off out of houses and construction sites and start stealing it of of poles. Some of that wire is very heavy.... I wonder how they handled it.