Thieves climbing utility poles pose problems

February 17, 2010 8:11:11 AM PST
Crime Stoppers and investigators with the Harris County Sheriff's Office are seeking the public's assistance with any information on suspects stealing copper cable in the Crosby, Huffman and Mt. Belvieu area. This has been on going problem since October of 2009. According to Crime Stoppers, over the last four months, groups of individuals have found ways to climb up utility poles and cut telephone cable from the poles. The individuals then cut the cable up in smaller pieces to transport it from the scene. As a result of this criminal activity, almost 7,000 feet of cable has been stolen from one company. Also more than 3,000 customers have lost their phone service, sometimes for several days. Not only is this an inconvenience but a potential safety hazard because those customers did not have access to dial 911 in case of an emergency.

Two suspects have been arrested and charged with felony theft in one of these incidents. Witnesses have reported seeing suspects up on utility poles at night but did not report it to the police. All trucks working on telephone lines should be marked and the workers should be in uniforms with ID's.

If anyone has any information about these any of these crimes they are urged to call Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for any information called in to the 713-222-8477 (TIPS) hotline or submitted online at that leads to the identification, arrest and/or charging of any of the suspects in this case. Tips can also be sent by text message -- Text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.