Daring thieves steal lines from telephone poles in Georgia

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Thousands of dollars in repairs were needed for phone lines in Georgia due to thieves stealing the wires, the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office said.

Daily Times Center, file photo

Thieves have taken a new level of audacity in a Georgia county by stealing wires from the tops of telephone poles under cover of darkness.

The Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office says there have been “repeat cases” in recent months – and the first clue is always a sudden loss of television and cable access for neighboring homes. Catoosa County sits on the Tennessee border near Chattanooga.

“The scene is in a remote area of ​​the county and the crimes occurred at night when there is less traffic on the roads,” the sheriff’s office said in a July 14 news release.

“The evidence obtained indicated that the offenders had used a ‘deer rack’ type ladder to climb the posts and would be driving a van carrying the rack and a possible ladder.”

County officials report the culprits were smart enough to target telephone and cable TV lines, rather than deadly power lines.

It’s copper they want, a highly demanded and highly valuable raw material, experts say.

Catoosa County investigators say thieves occasionally slipped up and attempted to steal non-copper fiber optic cables. Either way, the end result is “thousands of dollars in damages,” the sheriff’s office said.

The thefts involved telephone poles along the same three roads, suggesting the thieves live nearby, officials said.

Hundreds of people reacted to the alert on social media, some of whom said they were among the victims. Others guessed it was only a matter of time before thieves fell off ladders or hit power lines by mistake.

“Tweakers are literally cutting live wires in Catoosa County. Live wires. Let that sink in,” one person commented.

“All it will take is a bad cut and poof!” said another.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering topics including schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with a major in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.

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