Communications, Public Safety at Risk Due to Theft of Verizon’s Copper Cable Facilities in Wise County, Va.

WISE, Va. – Verizon is warning about an increasing number of criminal acts that have caused major telephone and Internet service outages, creating repeated risks to public safety for hundreds of customers in Wise County.

Over the past 18 days, thieves have been responsible for four incidents involving theft of copper communications cables in Verizon’s telecommunications network, disrupting service to nearly 250 customers in the Pound area.

“These thefts needlessly put people’s lives in danger and cost thousands of dollars to repair,” said Marlon Gunter, Verizon’s area customer operations manager for southwest Virginia. “When phone lines are cut, citizens lose an important avenue for calling 911 and other emergency services. This loss of emergency communications can also result in injury or worse due to delayed response.”

Including these most recent incidents, Verizon has incurred nine cases of copper theft in Wise County this year.  

“We are working closely with law enforcement officials to find and fully prosecute those responsible for these recent criminal acts,” said Gunter. 

Verizon urges anyone with information about specific incidents to contact Verizon’s Security Control Center at 1-800-997-3287. Those who witness any acts in progress should immediately call 911 or the Wise County Sheriff’s Office at 276-328-9647.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 101 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries. A Dow 30 company with nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 178,300.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.


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