Verizon Offers Up To $50,000 for Information on Phone Equipment Thefts in Southern West Virginia

HINTON, W.Va. - Verizon is offering a reward of up to $50,000 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of individuals responsible for recent thefts of telephone equipment from the company's facilities in two southern West Virginia communities.

Over the past several weeks, critical electronic equipment necessary to provide telephone service was stolen from two Verizon sites in the Hinton and Peterstown areas. The criminal acts have caused significant damage and created telephone service delays and public safety concerns for thousands of Verizon customers in Summers and Monroe counties.

"These thefts not only affect telephone service, but they put people's lives at risk," said Tom Wood, area manager of customer operations for Verizon West Virginia. "Verizon will not tolerate these acts and is fully cooperating with state and local law enforcement authorities to find and prosecute those responsible."

Earlier this year, Verizon offered a $5,000 reward for information regarding the vandalism and theft of the company's aerial copper telephone cables in parts of Logan, Boone and Wyoming counties. Verizon continues to work closely with the West Virginia State Police on its investigation of those thefts.

The company urges anyone with information about these crimes to contact Verizon's Security Control Center at 1-800-997-3287 and select option three.

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 214,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.