Cable theft causes widespread phone outage in Yakima County

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- Wires on the ground. Wires in the water. Copper cables...gone.

The handiwork of a thief...or thieves...looking to make a windfall.

Cutting off phone, internet, and 911 services for customers in Naches, Chinook Pass, and Gleed.

"It's very disturbing to have that kind of thing done in our town," said Randy Jewett, owner of RJ Tires in Naches.

About a thousand feet of copper and fiber optic cables was stolen from the intersection of West Powerhouse and Naches Heights Roads. A contractor says it's the third time that's happened here in recent months.

Katherine Farnsworth owns the Sticky Fingers Bakery and Caf in Naches. She lost her outside phone line, credit card machine and couldn't use the internet. .

"It makes me very angry that people are taking advantage of everybody else and not caring about anybody but themselves."

CenturyLink owns the lines and says the stolen copper is worth about $30,000 dollars.

The pain was also felt here in Yakima. KIMA's radio partner had two stations go down temporarily because of it. BOB FM and The Tractor.

"On BOB, we were off the air for several hours," said Dewey Boynton, Yakima Radio's Operations Manager. "And of course, when you're off the air, you can't play commercials, and you lose revenue."

CenturyLink has restored all services to customers in all three areas.

Yakima County deputies investigating the theft say they don't have any new leads or suspects.