City Police Searching For Wire Thief

Someone with a desperate need for a lot of wire is causing a minor headache for city public safety crews.

Jamestown Police are currently investigating several separate reports of larcenies involving the theft of copper wire from the Jamestown Fire Department’s box alarms throughout the city.

The box alarms are on numerous utility poles throughout the city as an alternate way to report an emergency other than a phone call. The wired system has its own independent lines and has been in use before phone lines.

The subject is reportedly using a bucket truck to access the wires on the poles. They are then disconnecting and cutting the wire for theft.

“We never had an active alarm go off,” said Samuel Salemme, Jamestown Fire Department batallion chief. “In the stations we have a tapper system. We had a bunch of erratic taps in one of the eight (city) circuits, which caused it to go down.”

The fire department then sent its maintenance crew to the area and the larceny was discovered. A source advised the Jamestown Police that they saw a white bucket truck with orange lettering in the area all morning prior to the larceny.

One report included the areas of Isabella Avenue, Clinton Street, Lafayette Street and West 10th Street, where it is estimated that about 1,000 feet of wire was removed from the poles.

“I’ve never heard of going to this length to steal wire,” said Robert Samuelson, Jamestown Police Department captain. “Going into factories and stealing wire I’ve heard of.”

Jamestown Police are also investigating a similar theft from the Willard Street, Barrows Street and Benedict Avenue area of the city.

“It’s not uncommon to see these trucks,” Salemme said. “The BPU even has white bucket trucks.”

Police are asking for the public’s assistance with the investigation by calling the JPD at 483-75347 or 483-TIPS. The public is asked to call if they have any information on who may be responsible or if they have observed a white bucket truck in these areas.

“This happened at opposite ends of the city and likely in other places too,” Samuelson said. “If people see it again, call it in to make sure it’s legitimate.”