Criminals put thousands of Verizon customers out of service by cutting cables and damaging network facilities

Company offers $10,000 reward; Law enforcement alerted

NEW YORK — Thousands of Verizon customers have been cut off from critical services over the past few days as criminals have damaged or destroyed critical network facilities. There have been at least 24 suspected incidents of sabotage over the past week in five states in which services were cut off for thousands of residential and business customers, including a local police and fire department in New Jersey.

“We will find out who’s behind these highly dangerous criminal acts and we will pursue criminal charges,” said Michael Mason, Verizon’s chief security officer.  “These reckless perpetrators are risking the lives of countless Americans by cutting access to key lines of communications, especially to local police, fire and rescue personnel.  If someone has an emergency and needs to contact local authorities, these malicious actions could prevent that from happening.”

Among the incidents:

  • Sliced fiber optic cabling at a network facility box in New Jersey that cut services to customers and local emergency personnel, including police and fire departments.
  • Sabotage in Massachusetts in which phone services were cut off for customers for 16 hours.
  • Cut fiber optic and copper cables in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York that disabled voice communications and internet connectivity.

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