JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Copper thieves caused more than $80,000 in damages to steal $1,000 worth of copper from a local radio station tower.
The alleged theft occurred around 1:30 a.m. Monday at the East Arkansas Broadcasters' tower station on Craighead County Road 775, according to Deputy Jerry Roth.
A station employee said he received a call advising the station was off the air. He told Roth usually when that happens, he goes to the tower and resets a breaker.
But, Monday morning he found the chain to the gate had been cut and about $1,000 worth of copper wire had been stolen.
Deputy Roth noted in the incident report that was “severe damage” to the generator and the wiring inside the building.
He said it appeared someone had cut the main wires to the reserve generator then “hooked a rope or cable onto the wires and used a truck to pull the wire out of the ground and building.”
Roth added that it appeared the suspects turned off the propane leading to the generator and “had knowledge of which wires were live” and which were not.
The report estimated the damage to the generator and building at $80,000.
The deputy reported finding a motel room card near the building’s front door that he said might have been dropped by the suspects.
Anyone with information on this theft should contact Crimestoppers at 935-STOP (7867) and leave an anonymous tip.