Thieves caught on camera stealing metal from business

$200,000 worth of telephone cable stolen

By Phil Archer - Reporter , Louis Lochte - News Producer

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A gang of thieves in northeast Harris county have stolen almost $200,000 worth of telephone cable in just the last few months.

The thieves work at night, pulling down a few hundred pounds of cable each time to sell for its copper content.

Since December, they have hit 11 different locations in Houston and Humble, a total of 21 times.

The cable belongs to the CenturyLink telecom company.

"They're crawling up on something using a ladder and pulling that cable and cutting it. Pulling it down and then cutting it into little pieces," said Lanita A. Richardson, with CenturyLink.

So far, the thefts have cost CenturyLink about $185,000 in repairs.

A break came a few days ago, when Richardson discovered a stash of cable pulled down the night before, and set up surveillance cameras.

What she got was video of the thieves coming back to carry off the loot.

"Wire had already been cut. They were stacking it and transported it to their car," Houston Police Department officer Andrew Sanchez said.

Sanchez has been following the case for three months now.

He has that video, photographs of a car and a Ford truck that may belong to the thieves but doesn't have any names.

Houston police would like to chat with the men in the video, but they don't know who they are.

They're asking anyone who does to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. There is a reward and you can remain anonymous.

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