Tower thievery which spanned several months has racked up an estimated $100,000 in fees for carriers to replace stolen cables, reported WSAZ-TV. Investigators say the copper stolen from tower sites is only worth between $20-$100 dollars.
Sheriff Mike Rutherford of Kanawha County (WV) said the three individuals charged are no strangers to law enforcement. The assailants, James Canfield, 22, Jeremy Powers, 28, and Johnnie Boggess, III, 30, were charged with breaking and entering plus destruction of property at a Frontier Communications-owned cell site.
During a recent break-in, investigators say deputies saw suspicious activity, which eventually led them to the suspects. Additional suspects are still at large, having cut phone and internet lines, according to WSAZ-TV.
Sheriff Rutherford added that two different towers sites were hit a total of seven times, affecting access to 911 services. “The main thing we want to do is notify the public that we need their help,” Rutherford said. “The Frontier Communication landlines have been cut down, and this makes a great public safety hazard.”