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Copper thieves cut internet, TV, and landline services in Oromocto, N.B., area


Bell Aliant says repeated incidents of copper theft are disrupting internet, television, and landline phone connections to New Brunswick customers around Oromocto and Lincoln.

The latest incident happened Tuesday around 8 a.m.

Bell Aliant (a subsidiary of Bell, which is the parent company of CTV), says about 850 customers are affected by the outage, adding it may take until 11 p.m. Tuesday for all services to be restored.

"We’ve been exposed to a rash of vandalism, particularly in the last four to six weeks, of thieves looking to steal copper from our outside plant network," says Dana Lohnes, Bell’s director of field operations in Atlantic Canada.

Lohnes says there’s been as many as 35 separate incidents in recent weeks.

"Each of those acts of vandalism results in multiple customers being taken out of service,” says Lohnes. "In some cases, up to a couple thousand customers at a time for each of the separate acts of vandalism.”

Impacted customers tell CTV News some services outages have lasted a day or longer.

The RCMP confirms its ongoing investigation of telecommunication outages from two days: Nov. 24 (in the Broad Road area), and Tuesday.

"We were also advised by the provider that a pole on Black Watch Avenue in Oromocto was damaged due to mischief,” says Cpl. Terry Densmore of the Oromocto RCMP. "Police attended that location today and confirmed that someone had cut and stolen the wires from this pole causing the disruption."

Lohnes says Bell Aliant has installed surveillance cameras and alarms around the area.

"We’ve had roving patrols where we’ve had our local management team, as well as some security companies literally driving the streets in some of these high targeted areas trying to catch people in the act,” says Lohnes. “We have also upped our surveillance in terms of the amounts of cameras that we’ve had installed."

"We have alarming on all our network. So when we lose certain elements of the network it alarms to a common alarm centre. We’ve had that alarm centre on high alert so when they see alarms in these particular regions, they call our roaming patrols who will then call the RCMP directly.”

Cpl. Densmore says anyone who witnessed suspicious activity around the Broad Road area of Oromocto on Nov. 24, or Black Watch Road area of Oromocto Nov. 29, should contact them. Top Stories

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