Telephone wires being stolen in Jones

If your telephone lines are down, contact the phone company — and maybe the cops, too.

Rita West, who lives in Jones County off Highway 29, says she's repeatedly had outages with her telephone lines, and it scares her.

"I have an eight-and-a-half year old son who has seizures... and I have to have a phone in order to contact the doctor or either call for an ambulance," she says.

After calling her phone company she soon found out that she and hundreds of her neighbors didn't have telephone connections because thieves were stealing the phone wiring.

The Jones County Sheriff's Department says thieves are taking the copper and selling it for a profit. Investigator James Hunter says this is becoming a common crime throughout the state.

"We've been having this problem every since Hurricane Katrina," he says.

A spokesperson with AT&T says there have been three stolen telephone wires so far this month in the area where Rita West lives. The company plans to place the wires underground.