MCT REGIONAL NEWS
By Kara Van Pelt
The Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va.
Aug. 17--Copper thieves have struck again, this time targeting over 200 feet of Frontier Communication phone lines in the Eccles and Harper Heights area of Raleigh County Monday night, according to the Raleigh County Sheriff's Department.
However this recent theft is only one of approximately 20 that the company has experienced since the beginning of the year, Detective Larry Lilly said, with thefts averaging from 150 to 200 feet at a time.
Although the theft of these precious metals is nothing new to the community, targeting phone lines could leave a person without a life line during an emergency, Lilly explained.
"The majority of the thefts have occurred over the summer with several in the Harper area most recently," he explained. "This is not just a company losing money, it is something that can put folks' lives at risks. Plus it harms a company that serves the community which, in turn, could cause increased rates."
Lilly said one recent theft targeted lines providing communication to a coal mine, which could have a devastating impact if an emergency were to occur.