KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) – Copper wires and cables are now missing from several cell phone towers throughout Kanawha County.
22-year-old James Canfield, 28-year-old Jeremy Powers and 30-year-old Johnnie Boggess III were all arrested. Canfield was charged with breaking and entering and destruction of property. Powers was charged with three counts of breaking and entering. Boggess was charged with breaking and entering.
Investigators say one tower near Sharon had been broken into once a month since August, and a second tower in Giles Hollow was also hit.
“We know it will exceed $100,000 or more in material and labor costs from the cell phone companies,” says Sheriff Mike Rutherford of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.
Not only is it going to cost over $100,000 to fix this, but the theft knocked out cell phone service for days to people living in the area or passing through on the interstate.
“If you have a problem, there’s a fire, or you need law enforcement or an ambulance, and the towers are down, it’s next to impossible to try and get someone to help you,” says Sheriff Rutherford.
A copper theft that had a dangerous impact on the community; making this crime more than just stealing some wire.
“This is a very serious situation and we want to alleviate it as I said we’ve made these three arrests and we hope to make more,” says Sheriff Rutherford.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office says the three men arrested are friends, and they think there might be more involved in these crimes.
Deputies are asking for the public’s help. If you know anything about these crimes, please call the Sheriff’s Office immediately at (304) 357-0200.