Verizon Telephone Service, Public Safety at Risk Due to Cable Thefts in Southeast Texas

IRVING, Texas - Verizon is calling upon the public to help thwart an increasing number of criminal acts that have caused major telephone service outages, creating risks to public safety for thousands of customers in Crosby and Huffman, northeast of Houston.

Over the past month, thieves have cut and stolen thousands of feet of copper cable and steel supporting cable, resulting in more than $250,000 in repair costs.  As a result of these crimes, thousands of Verizon local phone customers have unnecessarily experienced telephone service delays - up to several days in some cases - and endured risks to their personal safety.

Verizon urges anyone with information about the specific incidents to contact Verizon's Security Control Center at 1-800-997-3287 or call the Harris County Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (713-222-8477).  A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered to individuals who present information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the criminals.

"These thefts are incomprehensible because they put people's lives in danger and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair," said Trinidad Aguirre, senior vice president and general manager of Verizon's Central region.  "We will not tolerate these deliberate and malicious acts against our telephone network and our customers."

Verizon is working closely with state and local law enforcement authorities to find and prosecute those responsible.

The criminal acts occurred Nov. 4, 5 and 12, and Oct. 9 and 16 in Harris County.

On Nov. 12, thieves stole 900 feet of cable along Wolf Road and FM 2100 in Huffman, disrupting service to 600 residential and business customers.  On Nov. 4, 360 feet of cable was stolen along the same stretch of road in Huffman.

On Nov. 5, thieves stole 465 feet of cable in Crosby, one-half mile from FM 2100 in the San Jacinto Coastal Water Authority right of way, disrupting service to 1,600 customers and requiring two days to restore service.

In October, thieves stole hundreds of feet of telephone cable along Wolf Road and FM 2100 in Huffman, affecting hundreds of customers.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 63.7 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of nearly 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.