Copper thieves cut phone, Internet service to Ruch

Residents are asked to call 911 if they see people working on phone lines who look suspicious

CenturyLink customers in Ruch outside of Jacksonville lost phone and internet services Wednesday, apparently because of copper thieves, according to a statement from the company.

About 500 people in the Ruch area were affected, said Heather Koch, company spokeswoman.

Crews worked to replace the copper and get service back on after the company was alerted Wednesday morning, said Koch.

"Copper theft has happened in the past, all over Oregon and affects electrical companies, too. Luckily, this didn't cut the 911 lines," said Koch.

The cable that was taken was stolen from aerial cable on the electrical poles, and CenturyLink was working to get service restored by today.

If people are seen working on telephone wires without typical safety equipment such as orange vests and hard hats or without flaggers or company vehicles, observers should call 911, said Susan Reed, vice president and general manager for CenturyLink in Southern Oregon.

Oregon state law requires anyone transporting metal to have a certificate detailing where the metal was obtained or risk a fine of up to $1,250 or 30 days in jail. Scrap-metal businesses are required to cooperate with law enforcement and to separate, tag and hold property they suspect was lost or stolen.


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