Whitesburg KY

Reward offered in telephone line thefts

Copper was again stolen from aerial telephone cable lines twice last week in Letcher County.

Cathy Lewandowski, senior public relations manager of AT&T Strategic Communications, said about 600 feet of cable was stolen June 11 along Highway 15 about one mile north of Whitesburg, not far from the Dollar General Store. Replacement costs are estimated to total $9,200, said Lewandowski.

On June 13, another 400 feet of cable was stolen along Highway 15 at Isom. Replacement costs for that strand are estimated to be $4,900, she said.

Lewandowski said Service was restored to all customers affected by the two thefts, and that AT&T is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. The reward offer expires June 30.

Under federal law, tampering with phone lines the public uses to place emergency calls or to request emergency assistance is a felony offense.

Lt. Brian Damron of the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department said that when phone lines are down people can’t make emergency phone calls to 9-1-1.

“Once you take the phone line away, it affects people in many ways,” said Damron.

Anyone with information concerning the recent copper thefts is asked to call the sheriff ’s department at (606) 633-2293, Kentucky State Police at (606) 435-6069 or AT&T Asset Protection at (800) 807-4205.

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