Telecommunications cable with copper wire is a hot commodity for criminals.
In Broken Arrow, Okla., Windstream’s cable was unlawfully nabbed by thieves, and it’s going to cost the telecommunications company $25,000 to replace it, Windstream’s Alex Lowder told the Broken Arrow Ledger.
The theft reportedly left hundreds of Windstream customers without service for several hours, interrupting wireless and landline calls, broadband access and communications to emergency services.
Windstream is weary of such criminal behavior.
It is offering a $25,000 reward across all its ILEC territories in Oklahoma for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a person who perpetrated the recent theft in Broken Arrow and any other such theft.
Windstream spokesman Scott Morris told Channel Partners the company has "used rewards in other states and they have been helpful in identifying thieves."
"Copper thefts are a significant problem across our footprint," Morris said. "Since they interrupt service, they are a pubic safety threat as well as a considerable cost to our business."
The precise magnitude of the problem hasn’t been disclosed. Asked for the total number of thefts that Windstream has suffered across its territories, Morris said he could not provide this information.