CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Thieves stealing copper put Aransas Pass residents at risk last Friday.
Police report that while cutting electrical lines to steal the metal, they also severed cables containing hundreds of internet connections.
It has happened more than once in Aransas Pass for various reasons. However, people may not realize that police, first responders, and businesses rely on the internet every day.
Thieves were caught on camera cutting wires on street poles near Cleveland and Commercial Streets last week, attempting to steal the copper strands inside. Each colored strand contains a thin thread of copper, and more than 2,000 feet of these cables were damaged in the process.
It not only affects streaming entertainment but also impacts local businesses.
So many of our transactions are done through electronic signing,” said Lisa Barker with Dream Team Realtors. “Whether that’s agreeing to a sales contract or needing to extend a closing date or whatever it might be. And it gets delayed and we need to be able to have immediate access to the internet with our clients.”
Aransas Pass Police Chief Eric Blanchard said that, problematic as it is, thieves are also impacting public safety.
“We’ve had a situation where we’ve lost all services, communication services and we were operating off cellular internet. Now granted, it got us by but it bogs that system down. So yeah. You potentially put public safety at risk,” he said.
Blanchard said that nowadays, people are figuratively in the dark without online access.
“The minute that everything goes down, it controls people’s A/C, it controls people’s security cameras, all kinds of issues. And if you do work online, which a lot of people do since after the pandemic, you’re kind of shut down,” he said.
Blanchard said the thieves are getting only a tiny amount of money for the copper, and it is a felony crime. If residents have any information, they are asked to call Tri-County Crime Stoppers at 361-758-TIPS.
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