Jesse Jones

Maple Valley homeowner’s property hit a second time by copper wire thieves

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. — “Well, this is the day I’m not packing my pistol being nice to everybody here.”

Rick Geist of Maple Valley kept his weapon at home today but recently it’s been his companion. It’s all because wire thieves are back in and around his property again - but this time he’s turned the tables.

“I figured they’d be looking for me, looking for their wire. We took their wire, and we hid it.”

We told you about Rick’s story last month, about how he chased vandals off his property.

They’re taking the wire to sell the copper found inside.  Gene Reed is the Regional Operations Manager for Centurylink’s parent company, Lumen.

“They’re drawn to larger, larger cables because it’s heavier it’s more weight in copper,” says Reed.

“This line was only four weeks old,” says Rick Geist, of the line that ran up his property.

For other impacted CenturyLink customers communication is completely cut-off because their cell service is either poor or non-existent.

“So, they’ve, you know, they’ve hit this run 3 or 4 times and, we’ve seen that in other places. Across the Puyallup River we got hit about eight different times in about a two-week period,” says Reed.

With the thieves becoming more prolific and emboldened, Rick is more worried about his safety than his phone service, “I mean, I don’t bear anybody any ill will, but this is going to escalate into a confrontation here. I just feel it, it just keeps increasing and the contact is getting closer and closer. That’s my major concern is that, you know, I don’t want to have to defend myself, and hurt somebody.”