Local News

Most Verizon Service Restored After Cables Stolen

Posted February 24, 2008 1:54 p.m. EST
Updated February 25, 2008 6:13 a.m. EST

— 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.