Verizon fiber optic lines cut, Customers without service - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Verizon fiber optic lines cut, Customers without service

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - It's being called an act of sabotage. Several Verizon fiber optic lines are cut leaving many  customers with no phone, no internet, and no TV service. The crime happened Tuesday night on Coalfield Drive in Midlothian.

Verizon says someone managed to get inside a junction box and rip-up fiber optic lines. Barbara Albright wants the problem fixed. When she picks up her phone, she only hears static.

"It's been out since last night," said Albright.

When neighbor, Jeanette Moore, turns on her television a message pops up indicating "this channel is currently not available." Her phone service is also nonfunctioning.

"It's not easy to be without a phone -- to me there's nothing like having your phone in your home that rings and you get messages," said Moore.

Verizon says it's a case of sabotage.

"I apologize on behalf of the criminals who are doing this. It's something that's not called for and it's unfortunate it has happened," said Harry Mitchell, Director of Communications for Verizon.

On Wednesday, crews were out trying to repair the damage. A similar incident happened last week in the Deerfield Road area of Chesterfield.

The company says since thousands of unionized workers went on strike earlier this month-- there have been more than 200 proven cases of lines being purposely damaged from Massachusetts to Virginia. But it's not clear who's responsible for the crimes.

"We're actively seeking who did it and we'll deal with them when we find them," said Mitchell.

A spokesmen for the striking union says they don't condone any sort of sabotage.

The folks who lost service in Midlothian are expected to be fully back on line by the end of the night. Also, hundreds of Verizon customers in Prince George County are also without service right now.

The company says someone used a rifle to shoot lines. At this point it's unclear if it was accidental or done on purpose. Verizon says service should be restored in that area sometime tonight.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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