Copper Thieves A Problem In Lane County

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Copper theft is a widespread problem and here in Lane County, it’s a huge problem for communications company, CenturyLink.

The town of Dexter had phone outages last weekend due to what CenturyLink says were copper thieves. The company says this isn’t the only time they’ve seen it as it’s been a problem throughout Lane County.

CenturyLink operations manager for the area says it’s becoming an almost weekly ordeal.

Along the McKenzie Highway in Springfield, the same line was hit twice within a matter of days. Lane County Sheriff’s Office says between last Friday and Saturday alone, four cases of wire thefts were reported.

“Hopefully, people will recognize the damage that this does to the community. It just is a crisis and we’ve got to get a hold of it,” said Jason Johannesen, CenturyLink operations manager for the Eugene area.

Johannesen says when these wires are cut and stolen, customers lose internet and phone services.

The sheriff’s office says these crimes are felonies and violators who are caught can be sentenced to prison for more than a year. Along with prison time, criminals also pay restitution to the company.

CenturyLink says if you see any suspicious activities to call 9-1-1. All of their vehicles are clearly marked and employees have identification. Johannesen says the company is also considering getting their own security.

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