The cable company that I use for my computer – Suddenlink – was vandalized (fiber optic line was cut) and thousands of Humboldt County residents were without a variety of services ranging from internet, television, and telephone.
This is the fourth time in a week the vandals have struck, and the first time the malicious vandalism has affected the area I’m in. No one knows why this is happening. Theories abound. The one I’m entertaining is a past employee of Suddenlink with a grudge.
I guess one of the most troubling aspects is why. Why would someone do this? The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is asking asking the public to call with any information about these attacks. It’s also troubling to me how exposed our communication systems are to people with bad intentions.
As far as I know, there’s no salvage market on fiber optic wire (23 feet was stolen in the first vandalism incident). From what I gathered thus far today, the fiber optic line in Bayside (by Arcata) was just cut. Suddenlink employees had to search to find where the damage was done, unlike the last few incidents when the damage was open and apparent.
The editor and Publisher of The McKinleyville Press, Jack Durham, has asked me to do an investigative piece on the vandalism – as it has affected McKinleyville twice. I may be retired, but sometimes I come out long enough to do a special assignment.
Let the hunt begin…
Here’s the official press release from the Sheriff’s Office:
“On 3-13-13 at about 1100 p.m. the Sheriff’s Office was contacted by Suddenlink and advised of vandalism to their Fiber Optic Cable. This is the fourth vandalism to Suddenlink’s Fiber Optic Service since March 8, 2013. The most recent vandalism is believed to have occurred in the 3400 block of Old Arcata Road however Suddenlink is still attempting to identify the exact location. The Sheriff’s Office responded to the area last night and did not locate any suspects or find obvious signs of where the cable was damaged.
Sheriff’s Investigators are currently on scene investigating this crime and Suddenlink personnel are working to repair the Fiber Optic Cable. Suddenlink previously estimated the repair costs to be approximately $10,000, per site. The vandalisms have occurred in the areas of Ferndale, Trinidad and now Bayside.
Suddenlink is offering a $5,000 cash reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) that are responsible for these crimes.
This is an on-going investigation and the Sheriff’s Office is working diligently to identify a suspect or suspects in these crimes and to stop further vandalisms and interruptions to Suddenlink’s services.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call Detective Kirkpatrick of the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at 707-268-3640 or the Sheriff’s Tip Line at 707-268-2539.”