Police: Wire thieves cut service to 20,000 Comcast customers

by: Alison Grande Updated:

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Thieves stole 200 feet of fiber optic cable from power poles in Snohomish County leaving more than 20,000 Comcast customers without service Thursday, the company said.

The theft happened about 3 a.m. Thursday.

Comcast says customers lost television, internet and phone service. But the crooks didn’t get what they were looking for. Company spokesman Steve Kipp thinks thieves might have thought it was copper wire.

"We have no idea why they would do this," Kipp said. “There's really no street value for what was taken.”

Crews worked to restore service. The meticulous process involves splicing fibers together. Crews worked from early Thursday morning into the evening to restore service.

The outage had many customers wondering if they forgot to pay their bills. Calls poured in to Comcast.

Not only was service interrupted for residential customers, businesses were left without phone and internet service too.

Michelle Wetzel lost service at home and at work.

"(I) went in to work this morning and we had nothing. No computers, no phones, no nothing," she Wetzel. Eventually her employer sent her home.

On April 24, Comcast confirmed some of the stolen fiber optic line was found on a trail nearby.

Comcast is offering a $5,000 reward or two years of free service for information that leads to an arrest.

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