EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSLAWRENCE PHONE OUTAGES
from Eyewitness News Online
Two Charged With Disrupting Phone Service Throughout Lawrence County, Ohio
Reported by: Tiersa Davis
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Mar. 14, 2013 3:56 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 14, 2013 11:01 PM EDT
Ironton , Lawrence County , Ohio
Two Ohio men were arrested Monday after detectives said they stole copper wiring and disrupted phone service throughout Lawrence County, Ohio.
Randy Depriest, Jr., 30, and Brian K. Bloomfield, 34, both of Pedro are each facing 15 counts of disrupting public service and 15 counts of tampering with evidence, according to a news release from the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department.
Since June 2012, AT&T reported outages throughout the Upper, Elizabeth, Lawrence and Decator townships with more than 80 cases of reported thefts. The phone company would discover that the phone cables had been cut and stolen in areas of a wooded, rural area, the release said. The company estimates the cost of damage ranged in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Detectives said the suspects admitted to pulling down the cable wire and taking it to various scrap yards throughout the Tri-State area. Detectives said the cost that was paid for the scrap was little compared to the cost to repair the damage that was caused.
Sheriff Jeff Lawless said the phone outages and disruptions left residents without a way to contact emergency services. The sheriff's department said the investigation is continuing and more charges could be pending.
Depriest and Bloomfield were being held in the Lawrence County Jail.
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