Copper wire thieves could prevent you from making a 911 call. Phoenix is leading the nation in the problem – KPNX

Thieves are concentrating on pedestals And restore bins. Phoenix-metro space leads the nation for The agency

PHOENIX — Thieves are stealing hundreds of dollars worth of copper from Arizona’s 911 system That is powered by CenturyLink.

So far this yr, The agency has been the sufferer of 215 separate theft acts and vandalism totaling almost $1,000,000 in damages simply Inside the Phoenix metro space. 

That’s An enhance from 2021, when copper theft damages totaled about $10,000 for all of Arizona.

“Nationwide, Phoenix leads copper theft for CenturyLink by far,” said Jeff Mirasola, spokesparticular person of Lumen Utilized sciences, CenturyLink’s mother or father agency. “That Can be a public safety problem.”

Criminals are concentrating on pedestals and cross bins, which include copper wires that permit residents to have internet and telephone entry, probably stopping A pair of of them from reaching emergency providers.

“Seconds rely when somebody names 911, and if somebody has gone into Definitely one of our cross bins and simply indiscriminately rips off cables, That is going To close down An factor of the internetwork, They typinamey Do not Appear to be going To have The power to make That choice to 911,” Mirasola said.

Copper thieves Have gotten more and more refined and are exhausting to decide or catch since they pose as contractors, using vans or vans with short-term maginternetic signage to steal the copper, the spokesparticular person said.

“They’re getting bolder and doing it proper In the midst of daylight,” Mirasola added.

CenturyLink attributes The rise in incidents this yr to The current financial local climate, inflation, and the sharp enhance in copper prices.

The agency has partnered with Silent Witness in hopes of getting residents involved To decide criminals Inside the act and name the police.

Purple flags Might be a car with no or defective signages and technicians with no Lumen/CenturyLink uniforms, which don’t embrace shorts.

“Do You’d like to see one factor that simply doesn’t look proper, please name [police],” Mirasola said. “You can be saving somebody from getting Right into a state of affairs the place they Want to make an emergency name and They will’t.”

There has not been a time the place A particular person wasn’t In a place to contact 911, Mirasola said. “It’s The agency’s prime precedence To deal with these thefts immediately.”

On prime of factors

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