Copper Pieces Stolen From Grayson Co. Cell Towers - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Copper Pieces Stolen From Grayson Co. Cell Towers

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GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- Metal pieces disappeared from the base of two cell phone towers, forcing repairs to be made to help keep the towers safe from lightning strikes.

Workers had to come out and repair the towers, ater someone apparently stole copper pieces that are small but important for safety.

Living next to these two big towers in Grayson County, Barbara Rogers says it is usually quiet. "Just when the wind blows, you can hear the wind blowing through the towers," says Rogers.

But there was more than wind on Tuesday. Deputies were called to a copper theft on Theresa Drive near F.M. 691, Sheriff's Office Lt. Rickey Wheeler said.

"Out here it's remote, there's no security cameras, so if somebody doesn't just drive up on them doing it, then they usually get away with it," says repairman Beau Jarnagin.

A Dallas-area crew came to check on the damage on Wednesday, and they found wires had been cut and four copper "bus bars" were missing from the bottom of the tower. "We got our police report that there was copper theft and AT&T sent us out here to replace the copper that was stolen," says Jarnigan.

"They build them, they work on them all the time. They're putting new parts on them, putting new wires down and everything," says Rogers.

Jarnigan says he has been doing this work for a few years and he has seen a lot of damage that is caused by thieves taking pieces of copper metal. "Probably 60 percent of our work is copper thefts, going and replacing copper that's been stolen," says Jarnigan.

"That's private property back there, no one is supposed to go back there," says Rogers.

One neighbor says it was just a couple months ago when an air conditioner went missing from a house where a thief broke in. "She take the air conditioner outside she have the big machine and she broke the window," says neighbor Ana Mangvar.

Meantime, the work continued, to fix what was taken and help secure the tower from lightning.  "It protects the equipment in case of a lightning strike, it takes the electricity to the ground instead of to the equipment," says Jarnigan.

In South Carolina, state legislators passed a law two years ago requiring a sheriff's office permit before taking metal to a scrap yard, but copper thefts have still been reported there even after the law passed.