Copper thefts knock out service for more than 200 St. Croix Innovative customers


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ST. CROIX - Copper wire thieves on Sunday night knocked out telephone and internet service to more than 200 Innovative subscribers in the Salt River Marina and Gentle Winds Condos areas, according to a statement Innovative released Monday afternoon.

According to the statement, this is the second such theft in four weeks. Previously, areas like Grove Place, Upper Love and Carambola were affected.

The release said Innovative's outside plant technical team was on site and would work until service was restored.

"Instances of copper theft cause a major economic strain on the company's resources, irreparable damage to the existing plant and frustration to our customers. St. Croix residents are asked to be very vigilant," Matt Muckelbauer, Innovative's senior vice president and chief technology officer, said in the release.

On Sunday night, the thieves stole four spans of 300-pair cable, according to the release.

It notes that purposeful disruption of telecommunication services is a federal offense because it may affect the ability of emergency responders and others to communicate.

The release says the company has "enlisted the aid of both the local and federal authorities in apprehending these perpetrators," and asks anyone who knows anything about the thefts to contact local authorities.

For cable TV or phone repairs, Innovative customers calling from landlines can dial 912. Customers using cell phones can call the repair center at 778-1742.

For assistance, Innovative PowerNet customers should call 714-3700.

Customers may also report a service problem online at www.innovativevi.net or email their report to svcupdt1@innovativevi.net.

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