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Phone line thieves target rural Superior

Superior Telegram

For two nights in a row, criminals targeting copper wire have disrupted phone and internet service to about two dozen town of Superior residents.

Someone climbed up a tree along Highway 35 late Sunday night or early Monday morning and cut down about 125 feet of copper telephone line, according to Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec. CenturyLink first received word that service was disrupted in the area at about 4:45 a.m. Monday. The theft affected phone and internet service to 27 people. Although the line was repaired Monday, it was cut again that night. That line was not removed from the site, however.

Such outages aren’t new to law enforcement officers or CenturyLink. Residents of the town of Amnicon had their telephone service disrupted about half a dozen times in August when wire thieves stole live telephone cable repeatedly from the same stretch of County Highway E. Russell Cook, plant supervisor for CenturyLink, said at the time the company planned to bury the phone lines along County Highway E in that area. The company also buried a stretch of cable along the Sam Anderson Hill Road following a string of phone line thefts in 2010 and 2011, according to Cook.

Both of the recent line-cutting incidents have taken place along Highway 35 between Greenwood Cemetery and Highway C West. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at 715-395-1371.

If people see or hear any suspicious activity in that area, Dalbec encourages them to call 911 immediately.

With the weather warming up and snow melting away, people are more apt to be out and about. Dalbec asked residents to stay vigilant, keep watch in their neighborhoods and report anything suspicious, day or night.