Copper Thieves Target Frontier Communications’ Network in West Virginia
Three men have been arrested for vandalizing a section of Frontier Communications’ network in Logan County, West Virginia. Four more arrest warrants have been issued.
The men disrupted phone and internet service and created a public safety risk for Frontier Communication customers by stealing copper and selling to to scrap dealers. Bail was set for the three men for between $140,000 – $150,000 each while they await trial. They will be charged with a felony at minimum but could also face federal charges because the vandalism violates Homeland Security, interstate commerce and environmental protection laws.
Lynne Monaco, Frontier’s Corporate Director of Security stated “Frontier has zero tolerance for vandalism or sabotage against our network, and we are aggressive about finding those who disrupt service and endanger the public.”
Frontier because of their zero tolerance policy is committing significant resources to identify and locate anyone who vandalizes their property or disrupts their service. In addition, Frontier has notified recyclers and scrap dealers who deal in telecommunications materials that they could be subject to arrest and conviction for receiving stolen property, as well as aiding and abetting network vandalism.
LBA’s new CTO Chris Horne has had recent experience with copper thefts. Twice in the past year, thieves in his area have targeted cell site grounding systems such as copper straps at remote locations. On average, the cost for the cell site replacements was $1,000 while the scrap value of the copper stolen was roughly $50. With the potential charges these thieves face, this is a huge risk compared to the reward.