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Wire Thefts Prompt Alert: Thieves Climbing Poles, Posing as Utility Workers

After a theft of communication cable from utility poles that cut phone and cable TV service in Berkeley, police ask the public to report possible thieves around utility wires, including those posing as workers with a truck, hardhats and vests.

Utility poles. Photo credit: Charles Burress
Utility poles. Photo credit: Charles Burress
Following a recent theft of communication cable that caused a loss of telephone and cable TV service in Berkeley, police are asking the public to report any suspicious looking workers around utility poles or utility boxes.

In the early morning hours of Aug. 22, a thief or thieves climbed two utility poles in the 1300 block of Curtis Street and stole about 30 feet of co-axial communication cable, said a "Community Advisory" from Berkeley Police Officer Byron White.

"The theft interrupted telephone and cable television service to numerous homes in the surrounding area," the advisory said.

The notice said further:

"According to AT&T, similar incidents have occurred in a nearby city--where witnesses reported seeing a white boom-equipped utility truck with workers wearing hard hats and orange safety vests that appeared to be doing legitimate work.

"Historically, thefts of copper increase along with the increase its price/per pound.  As the price of copper currently is on the rise, we must be more vigilant.  If you should witness suspicious activity around utility poles and/or utility boxes, please report this to the police department as soon as possible."

The non-emergency number for Berkeley police is (510) 981-5900.

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For other police-related news on Berkeley Patch, see our "Police and Fire" section.

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