Copper theives hit communications tower

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It's a point of pride for Estill County officials - a brand new tower for the soon to be up and running 911 Center.

But this past weekend, they noticed the lights weren't flashing on top of the tower.

They soon discovered why.

"It had no power," said Judge Executive Wallace Taylor, "It couldn't work."

Sometime between noon and 4 p.m. Saturday, someone had cut away and removed more than 50 feet of copper wire from the tower.

No lights meant they had to fix it fast - because with helicopters flying into the nearby hospital, and other air traffic, it was a dangerous situation.

"Fortunately we caught it before dark," said Taylor.

The wires were temporarily repaired the same day, and fixed permanently Thursday.

Officials are shocked the copper theif or thieves weren't injured.

That's because hundreds of volts of electricity are running through the wires that lead up to the tower lights.

The damages are an estimated $5,000, and city officials want to know who is responsible.

"We look forward to chatching them," said Taylor, "they will be prosecuted."

Meanwhile, they are working on completeing a fence around the tower for security, and installing cameras.

Above all they are just happy they noticed the lights were out, before something could happen.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Irvine Police Department.

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