Deputies: No break-ins reported related to 11 vandalized telephone wiring boxes
Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating vandalism at 11 AT&T telephone wiring boxes in Superior Township earlier this week, which could have affected between 550 and 1,110 customers.
Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Geoffrey Fox said the vandalism took place overnight between Sunday and Monday. All of the affected boxes were in the area of Plymouth Road and Gotfredson Road and Plymouth Road and Joy Road, Fox said.
Each box serves between 50 and 100 customers and officials with AT&T told customers it could be an attempt to disable alarms at homes and businesses in the areas. However, Fox said there have been no home invasions or burglaries in Superior Township or western Wayne County municipalities affected by the vandalism.
“There’s nothing stolen, no copper, it just appears to be an act of destruction where they popped open the box and ripped wires out,” Fox said.
Each box will cost AT&T approximately $4,000 to fix, most of that cost being labor costs for the workers charged with getting the boxes working again, Fox said. There’s no immediate timetable for when the boxes will be fixed.
A neighborhood watch group sent out a Nixle alert Thursday morning, alerting residents to be on the lookout for break-ins and burglaries in the affected areas. Fox said AT&T officials originally thought a disgruntled employee could have done the vandalism, as it looked like the person who cut the wires knew what they were doing.
He said it’s rare to have vandalism to the telephone wiring boxes, which typically are metal-boxes that standalone at ground level.
“No, not to this extent,” Fox said when asked if sheriff’s investigators see these cases often.
At this point, there are no suspects in the vandalism. Fox said sheriff’s office deputies are investigating the incident and looking for patterns.
Anyone with information on the incidents is encouraged to call the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line at 734-973-7711 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800 SPEAK UP (773-2587).