Missouri Deputies Nab Five as Suspected Copper Thieves

6 years 4 months 4 weeks ago Tuesday, July 19 2011 Jul 19, 2011 Tuesday, July 19, 2011 3:44:00 AM CDT July 19, 2011 in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- A southwest Missouri sheriff's department says deputies have worked hundreds of overtime hours to catch suspected copper thieves who've been disrupting phone service for months.

Five men from Springfield and nearby towns are now under arrest in Greene County on suspicion of stealing copper telephone wire. KYTV reports that all of the arrests took place this month, with one of the men arrested twice.

Thieves have hit unincorporated areas of Greene County roughly 50 times since March, mainly targeting AT&T phone wires to sell the copper to recyclers.

Two of the men were arrested July 9, after a resident reported his phone suddenly went dead. More than 600 customers lost phone
service from that incident.

The sheriff's department has been working with AT&T and recyclers to fight the thefts.

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