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A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 7:00 AM Tuesday. Snow will continue through Tuesday morning with an additional 1 to 3 inches in many spots, locally 4 inches on the ridgetops.


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WJAC 6 News - Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Thieves go to great heights to strip copper from cell towers

By Maria Miller
STONYCREEK TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Police said thieves put their lives at risk early Friday morning by climbing hundreds of feet in the air to steal copper.

6 News has covered several copper thefts throughout the region locally, but this one really stands out, not only because of the amount of wiring the thieves were able to get away with, but because of the incredible skill and trouble they went through to get it.

Police said they were called to the top of Wertz Road in Stoneycreek Township Friday morning after workers for Atlantic Broadband discovered much of the wiring around their substation was gone.

"They basically took everything they could take without disrupting any service whatsoever," said Sgt. David Pollino of the Stoneycreek Township Police Department.

He said warning signs were ignored and fences were cut in several places to gain entry. When looking up a couple hundred feet, one wire can even be seen dangling from the top of the towers. And police said the the only way for the thieves to get up there is to climb, "which you really don't see normally. They just get as high as they can and take what they can get their hands on. But not in this particular case. I mean, they actually spent some time on site."

And police said that alone tells them the thieves were skilled, not mentioning the fact the thieves knew what could be taken without causing a disturbance or alerting the companies to a problem.

"It's dangerous, I mean the stuff that was taken would definitely cause danger to people around it because it's high-current electricity " said Pollino. "If something was diverted to a ground wire that isn't there, obviously it could charge anything that it's attached to."

It's about a mile to the top of the mountain but police said the thieves didn't drive up. Instead, at least three sets of footprints and drag marks show the thieves walked down the hill and through the woods before getting away.

Police are asking for help from anyone who knows anything as they look at surveillance video and check local scrapyards.

They said they're not yet sure how much damage was caused, but typically the repairs cost thousands more than what the copper is actually worth.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times