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News : New Providence Last Updated: Dec 13, 2013 - 6:21:24 PM


Copper Theft on the Increase: Police and BTC in Joint Appeal
By Serena Williams
Dec 10, 2013 - 1:23:59 PM

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Nassau, Bahamas - An unremitting onslaught by copper thieves on telecom facilities has Police and The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) appealing to the public for their assistance to stem the dangerous criminal attacks.

Following an uptick in copper theft activity from BTC facilities across the country resulting in immediate disruption of phone and data service and huge financial losses to BTC, Police Superintendent and Public Affairs and Communications Officer Stephen Dean and BTC’s VP of Communications and Brand, have appealed for the public’s help in bringing the criminals to justice in a crime they say is anti nation-building and “against God and Country.”

Police Superintendent and Public Affairs and Communications Officer Stephen Dean appealed to the general public nationwide to help the Police stop copper theft.

“We share the concern of business persons who are suffering great financial loss because of copper thefts and the general public who lose their telephone service when these thefts occur. We are doing everything possible to stop the incidents of copper theft and appeal once again to honest citizens of The Bahamas to do the right thing and give us information to help up us stop this copper theft crime wave against God and country!”

Kenyon Basden Technical Manager for New Providence said that in just the last two weeks, three substantial thefts had occurred.

“Thieves attacked at South Ocean Boulevard on November 16, JFK on November 27th and Roberts Boulevard, Coral Harbour on November 29. In all cases valuable and expensive 300 pair copper aerial cablewas stolen immediately disrupting service to hundreds of customers in the surrounding areas.”

On Grand Bahama, Manager Michael Laing reported that hardly a month goes by without a service disruption due to copper thefts. Last year there were 13 attacks. Recent thefts occurred on Balao Road Sea Grape, Eight Mile Rock, and Logwood Road and Peel Street in Freeport with immediate outage to related areas. E arlier this year, Mr. Laing appeared on television News in a public appeal for help; he asked anyone with information on the thefts to come forward and help Police with information to apprehend the criminals - to report any suspicious activity by contacting the police on 911 or 352-9774/5 and to report outages to BTC on 225 5282.

Marlon Johnson said crime has a negative ripple effect throughout communities.

“These copper-theft criminals disrupt service to customers and also trigger price increases as the need for replacement copper and installation costs push up the cost of doing business,” said Mr. Johnson. “We’re building a world-class communications network and common copper-theft criminals are working against us and the advancement of their country.”

In Nassau businessmen Rupert Roberts and Minister Leslie Miller have both called on the government to demonetise the metal by banning copper exports forever. Both men have suffered hundreds of thousands worth of dollars in business equipment and infrastructural damage at the hands of copper thieves. Super Value chain owner Rupert Roberts said at the time that, “drastic action needs to be taken against copper thieves.”


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