The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department is investigating the theft of copper wires from two cellphone towers in the Barnhart area. The thefts occurred a couple of hours apart in the early morning hours of June 13th.
"Certainly the timeline leads us to believe they were committed by the same person or persons. They were in close proximity to each other and only several miles apart," said Sgt. Matt Moore.
Someone stole 240 feet of copper cables from a tower used by AT&T and T-Mobile in the 6600 block of St. Lukes Church Road. Then several miles away, 70 feet of copper wires were stolen from a tower used by Sprint. That tower is in the 3700 block of Wedde Road.
A spokesman for T-Mobile told News 4 there's been a nationwide uptick in copper thefts from cell towers in the last six months. He also said that taking down a cell tower with this kind of crime could leave customers in the area without cell service for up to several hours.
"You know it's very concerning for me. I don't have a landline here at home so I live off of my cell phone. If that didn't work, we'd be without phone service for 911 calls or even work calls that I make all the time," said resident Sabrina Edmondson.
AT&T released a statement about the thefts:"We are investigating the theft of copper at a cell site near St. Luke’s Church Road in Barnhart, and are cooperating with local law enforcement to find those responsible. The theft of copper lines may affect some services for a limited number of nearby customers. Copper theft is a serious matter that affects public safety and the community at large. Tipsters can remain anonymous, so we encourage anyone with information to call law enforcement or AT&T Asset Protection at 1-888-871-2622."