The Harris County Sheriff's Office has arrested two individuals suspected of cutting and stealing a Verizon copper cable in Crosby last month, disrupting telephone and Internet service and creating a public safety risk for customers unable to reach 911 service. The Sheriff's Office continues to investigate six other copper cable thefts in the area.
The suspects - Oscar Calderon, 42, and Gercer Mancias, 28 - face felony charges for the Jan. 26 theft of 1,200 feet of cable that affected service for 200 residential and business customers and caused an estimated $25,000 in damages to Verizon facilities.
"We want to thank the Harris County Sheriff's Office for its hard work in identifying and arresting suspects in this case," said Cort Petterson, area manager of customer operations for Verizon. "Public safety has been our biggest concern with these thefts. Not only do they cause significant damage to our facilities and create telephone service delays, they threaten the safety and security of our customers. That is something Verizon absolutely will not tolerate."
Including this incident, Verizon has been victimized seven times over the last four months by copper cable thefts. Damages have exceeded $250,000, and several thousand Verizon local phone customers have unnecessarily experienced telephone-service problems - lasting up to several days in some cases - and endured risks to their personal safety.
Verizon security and local law enforcement officials continue to investigate the following incidents:
- Oct. 21 in Crosby - A 1,000-foot section of cable serving 300 customers was cut and stolen.
- Oct. 23 in Crosby - A 650-foot section of cable serving 37 customers was cut and stolen.
- Dec. 20 in Crosby - A 1,800-foot section of a cable serving 50 customers was cut and stolen.
- Dec. 27 in Crosby - A 600-foot section of cable serving 1,000 customers was cut and stolen.
- Jan. 25 in Huffman - A 780-foot section of cable serving 350 customers was cut and stolen.
- Jan. 29 in Mont Belvieu - A 900-foot section of cable serving 1,200 customers was cut and stolen.
Verizon urges anyone with information about the incidents to contact Verizon's Security Control Center at 1-800-997-3287 or call the Harris County Sheriff's Office at 713-221-6000.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 91 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of approximately 222,900 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.