IPD investigating copper thefts

Published 1:51 pm Wednesday, October 16, 2013

IRONTON — The Ironton Police Department is investigating several copper thefts in the city, including two at major communication towers.

Det. Joe Ross said Verizon reported the first incident on Oct. 8.

Copper and meters were stolen from the radio tower on top of WIRO hill, above the historic State Route 75 tunnel, Ross said, which disrupted cell service.

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The tower also houses equipment for Ntelos, Lawrence County 911, the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and IPD.

Although it is not clear exactly how much copper has been stolen, Ross said the amount of damage was “substantial.”

On Monday, an AT&T tower near the Lawrence Street Bridge was also vandalized and copper was stolen. Cell service was also interrupted.

Anyone with information on the thefts is asked to contact the police department.

Since the rubber coating is often burned off the copper by the thieves, Ross also encouraged anyone who sees or smells burning rubber or copper to contact the police department.