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Spike In Phone Line Sabotage Upsets Verizon Customers

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Cut phone lines in Baltimore put Verizon customers out of service.

Monique Griego has more on a recent spike in sabotage that’s upsetting customers.

Verizon is in the middle of a strike. No one is blaming those workers but the number of cut lines has jumped from a handful to hundreds and Verizon believes the first incident of cut phone lines in this area happened Wednesday night.

Cut lines left hundreds of Verizon customers in Baltimore dangling.

“All of our phones, no fax, no Internet,” said Quinton Reid, a Verizon customer. “None of my three lines work.”

When Reid’s bail bonds office lost phone line service, business came to a standstill, but he didn’t know who to blame.

“I never could think that it would actually be sabotage,” he said.

Verizon believes someone cut wires in an alley near Pennsylvania and West North Avenue. Verizon says someone took an axe and chopped the line right at its base.

It’s the latest case in a string of sabotage incidents that began after 45,000 Verizon workers went on strike two weeks ago. Since then, in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, 210 cases have been reported. Thirty of those happened in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia.

“What would somebody get out of cutting the lines just to make me and the rest of the consumers miserable?” Reid said.

We contacted the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Union which represents Verizon’s workers. The union said it doesn’t condone violence or sabotage to Verizon’s plant and in some instances, would question whether it wasn’t due to lines that Verizon had let deteriorate.

Technicians in Baltimore are still trying to restore power to several businesses within a few blocks. Reid can only hope phones in his office are up and running soon.

“I don’t know the calls that I’m not receiving. That’s what I’m really worried about,” he said.

Technicians told us it could take until Friday to restore service to that area. Verizon is asking anyone who sees someone sabotage a phone line to call police.

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