Verizon offering $10,000 reward in South Jersey network destruction spree

Annie McCormick Image
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Verizon offering $10K reward in South Jersey network destruction spree
Verizon offering $10,000 reward for the arrest of the person responsible for damaging company's equipment as reported by Annie McCormick during Action News at 11 on May 13, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Verizon is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for deliberately damaging the company's equipment throughout South Jersey.

Verizon says in at least 10 incidents, someone has damaged Verizon equipment. The destruction has left customers and businesses without a way to communicate, in some cases for an entire day.

The incidents have been reported during overnight hours in parts of Burlington and Camden communities, including Cherry Hill, Marlton, Evesham and Shamong.

Verizon is also sharing an image believed to be a person of interest in connection with an incident on April 28 in Cherry Hill.

"This is extremely dangerous and reckless activity and it needs to stop," said Mike Mason, Verizon's chief security officer. "Each time a cable is cut or our equipment is damaged, these perpetrators are jeopardizing our customers' ability to communicate. It means they may not be able to contact their families, a doctor or 911 emergency services."

Police believe whoever is responsible has detailed knowledge of how to disrupt Verizon service by cutting a middle portion of the cables making it difficult for Verizon to repair the cable in a timely manner.

Authorities believe it's possible a disgruntled worker or contractor could be responsible.

Chief Police Chief Bud Monaghan said the pieces of cable stolen have no monetary value if someone were to sell it for scrap on the street.

"They are not removing it to where there's copper where they can sell it for scrap. They are removing it to cause a longer duration in the repair line and extend the outage and it increases the cost of that vandalism," said Monaghan.

Cherry Hill police report the incidents happened between the 2040 - 2070 blocks on Springdale Road.

Authorities also believe the culprit is hitting utility poles after midnight.

Verizon is encouraging anyone with any information to call 911 and then Verizon's Security Control Center at 1-800-997-3287.