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Communications outage may be related to copper theft attempt

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 09:16 a.m. HST, Jan 24, 2013

Police were questioning a 42-year-old homeless man in connection with the vandalism of fiber optic communications cables that interrupted phone, Internet and cable television service Wednesday night through this morning.

It’s the second time in 10 days that service on Hawaiian Telcom and Oceanic Time-Warner lines was interrupted. A Jan. 15 fire, apparently set by a homeless man living in the area, burned cables cut service to 25,000 homes and businesses.

The fire under the airport viaduct is near the location of Wednesday night’s vandalism.

Police said the suspect was arrested at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of copper theft.

A spokeswoman for Hawaiian Telcom said the cable was “maliciously cut” Wednesday night at about 9:30 p.m.

Company spokeswoman Ann Nishida said the outage wasn't as widespread as last week's incident. She said about 500 customers were affected crews restored service to most customers by 1:45 a.m. and the lines were fully restored by about 9 a.m.

Crews had to splice individual strands of fiber optic cable together to repair the break. Data traffic was also rerouted.

"It's painstaking work," Nishida said.

Fiber optic cable does not contain copper.

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Publicbraddah wrote:
How about securing that area? Is that not a good option?
on January 24,2013 | 05:37AM
allie wrote:
True..lock it up!
on January 24,2013 | 06:33AM
Wazdat wrote:
on January 24,2013 | 08:23AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
"that area" includes the entirely of the length of cable. hundreds of feet between junctions. tough to secure those lengths without making it an eyesore.
on January 24,2013 | 08:44AM
Skyler wrote:
Well aren't they going to run the 'eyesore' rail that way anyway? What's one more 'eyesore,' eh? Besides, that area is already 'eyesore' enough with all the homeless folk's rubbish. Would be an improvement over that.
on January 24,2013 | 09:06AM
copperwire9 wrote:
Give it up Skyler. We're tired of hearing 'all rail all the time.'
on January 24,2013 | 09:33AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
So, what's your suggestion?
on January 24,2013 | 11:50AM
krusha wrote:
Just run those cables through a plastic conduit that can't be cut open easily.
on January 24,2013 | 10:19AM
nitpikker wrote:
do9n't you mean "metal" conduit?
on January 24,2013 | 04:42PM
Pocho wrote:
This should do it in having the General Public and Haw'n Telcom up in arms demanding the homeless to be booted out from under the bridge. Or I would at least think so
on January 24,2013 | 05:39AM
allie wrote:
secure the key cable connections. No brainer folks
on January 24,2013 | 07:27AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Okay which one of you guys did it?
on January 24,2013 | 05:53AM
islandsun wrote:
Oceanic & Staradvertiser together.
on January 24,2013 | 06:09AM
Skyler wrote:
I vote allie.
on January 24,2013 | 09:07AM
allie wrote:
we all do...
on January 24,2013 | 09:18AM
busterb wrote:
Re-fence Cayetano's paintball field to include that area.
on January 24,2013 | 06:18AM
localguy wrote:
Our dysfunctional DOT is responsible for freeway maintenance and security. On the mainland these areas are blocked with bulletproof barriers/fencing. This keeps out the homeless and protects the freeway. Sad to say this forward thinking has fallen on deaf ears at DOT. Union bossed killed it as it would reduce work for their workers. Better to waste more of taxpayer's money on doing the same make-work over and over then actually spend money to save money. No wonder tourists call Hawaii "That 70s Show"
on January 24,2013 | 06:29AM
allie wrote:
on January 24,2013 | 06:33AM
Allenk wrote:
I wonder if they can't enclose the wires in PVC or pipe? Maybe they can wrap some type of cage around it or better yet, just block off that area.
on January 24,2013 | 06:43AM
Tom938 wrote:
Bury it.
on January 24,2013 | 06:53AM
copperwire9 wrote:
You gonna pay for that, all those hundreds and hundreds of feet? And not raise a stink about having to pay for it?
on January 24,2013 | 09:34AM
olos73 wrote:
Agree. Why can't they put the wires inside galvanized pipe instead of leaving it exposed? Only rubber casing ain't going help.
on January 24,2013 | 07:16AM
hilopango wrote:
Electrical fence...problem solved.
on January 24,2013 | 07:43AM
false wrote:
Sharpshooter on the perimeter. Oh, with high powered paint ball to mark these scum bags.
on January 24,2013 | 08:18AM
Wazdat wrote:
This city and state are run like a 3rd world country...sad
on January 24,2013 | 08:24AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Inappropriate that the ratepayers bear the entire cost for this. The homeless guy who set the fire should do some free labor to pay this off. Hawtel can pay him with food.
on January 24,2013 | 06:51AM
Skyler wrote:
His doesn't know copper from fiber optic cable - what 'work' would you have him do?
on January 24,2013 | 09:09AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Dig ditches to bury the cables LOL
on January 24,2013 | 12:27PM
groinksan wrote:
In other words, his crimes turn into opportunity and food. Yeah, nice.
on January 24,2013 | 09:27AM
false wrote:
The heck with free labor .....punishment.
on January 24,2013 | 11:21AM
hilohanaue wrote:
on January 24,2013 | 06:53AM
France wrote:
The H-1 Viaduct is not a vital area, it is not marked no trespassing, it is not under the surveillance area of the sheriffs or HPD. No terrorist would ever think of setting off a bomb there. So lets just reroute the cables! Ha Ha.
on January 24,2013 | 07:17AM
cojef wrote:
Some disgruntle homeless says if I can't see the Super Bowl neither are you, so the repeated incidents of vandalism, eh what?
on January 24,2013 | 07:26AM
false wrote:
No sign. They can't read anyway. Gather all of their stuff and burn it. Under the viaduct must smell like a sewer.
on January 24,2013 | 11:23AM
saveparadise wrote:
Kick the homeless out of the airport, then the parks, and now under the freeway. Come on Gov and Mayor, where's the action or initiatives?? Designate an area for these people, arrest them for tresspassing and house them in jail, do something! This problem will not go away without some form of government intervention.
on January 24,2013 | 07:25AM
hilopango wrote:
While you're at it, Governor & Mayor...kick the homeless off of the sidewalks of King & Beretania streets...from Thomas Square all the way to Moiliili Field. They take up all the sidewalk space and leave messes everywhere.
on January 24,2013 | 07:47AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
It's 4th down and time to punt those homeless out of our parks and other public places. They do have places to go but want to live the "free" lifestyle. No free lunches. Earn your keep like everyone else. The homeless who want to get out of their situation are working towards that end. The freeloaders need a strong wakeup call.
on January 24,2013 | 08:15AM
hilopango wrote:
Agree...no more free rides.
on January 24,2013 | 08:56AM
false wrote:
Also get them off the beach and out of the beach parks.
on January 24,2013 | 11:25AM
Wazdat wrote:
on January 24,2013 | 08:25AM
France wrote:
Put the homeless on a poor farm or or place them in internment camps depending on their situation.
on January 24,2013 | 10:02AM
hanabatadayz wrote:
i think the wires are left exposed like that because it is a temporary fix until they can repair the conduits that the cables were originally in due to the fire..unfortunately the stupid copper thieves don't know the difference between copper wire and fiber optics
on January 24,2013 | 07:44AM
Wazdat wrote:
For all they charge for Cable Phone, interent, they have some TERRIBLE security for the lines. WOW
on January 24,2013 | 08:23AM
false wrote:
Does anyone know how many times the area has been clean up and the homeless evicted only for them to return? I'm sure that cost is pretty substantial. Something needs to be done about these chronics. For those of you who haven't seen their encampment under the viaduct go take a look. I am sure that outreach workers have paid them a visit but they rather live there so they can do their drugs. You should see them walking around that area some of them look like a bunch of zombies. State or City doesn't really matter needs to clean that area out once and for all.
on January 24,2013 | 08:32AM
Skyler wrote:
Yeah, it has been a bunch of times - every year or two, IIRC. For the $ they spend on it, the area could have been made secure a couple of times already.
on January 24,2013 | 09:12AM
hnlstar808 wrote:
again? time to secure the area.
on January 24,2013 | 08:45AM
false wrote:
Time to secure those people and I use that word very loosely.
on January 24,2013 | 11:27AM
hanoz808 wrote:
aloha pacific fcu is back up and fully functional.
on January 24,2013 | 08:57AM
awahana wrote:
Just like how banks, gas stations, and convenience marts have signs that say "clerk does not have key to the safe, safe is on a timer, or no cash in drawer", they have to start labeling the cables "non-copper" and hope that the thieves are literate... :(
The future is wireless.
on January 24,2013 | 09:38AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
what happened to petty theft, panhandling by homeless? Jeez, what's with our homeless these days....
on January 24,2013 | 10:48AM
false wrote:
Some panhandlers are now at certain intersections with their fish nets collecting money for whatever their cause is!!!!!
on January 24,2013 | 11:29AM
entrkn wrote:
bury him under the H1, alive
on January 24,2013 | 11:11AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
They should legislate stiffer penalties for damage and/or theft of copper wires. This issue has been festering for years and we need to do something about it. It not only poses a danger to the community but it also is at a cost to tax payers. The cost of labor to repair these lines and to purchase new cables is mounting. After making the penalties stiffer, we need to post signs on these poles and facilities that state that such actions may lead to so many years imprisonment and fines. Further, we should make the purchasing such stolen cables a crime punishable by so many years in prison and fines. We should run undercover stings for businesses that purchase stolen copper. There should be regulations that require businesses to keep a record of the seller and the buyer and if such a procedure is not followed it is a crime punishable by imprisonment and fines, also.
on January 24,2013 | 01:24PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
As far as where to house these homeless people, the state does have facilities that can be converted to temporary shelters. Former schools can be be converted to housing for the homeless and used as transitional homes. These facilites have all the things need to house the homeless. We have to do something about the homeless problem but we need to, first, do it with dignity. Throwing them on a land in Waianae with tents is not treating them with dignity. Yes, some have stated that they are a nuisance but some of them have mental health problems. A former school would have the kitchen and offices needed to house the non--profit organizations that help them. The state could partner up with organizations that help the homeless. And I am not talking about handouts. I am talking about helping the homeless people to have a roof over their heads and direct them to rehabiliatiion and training so that they can become contributing members of society. Many of the homeless are children and it is really tragic for them to have to live on the streets. It is sad that in today's United States of America we have children living on the streets who are hungy when our country is known for plentiful food. If they are housed at the former schools they can have hot meals and assistance that they need. No child should have to die from hunger or diseases that could have been prevented. Any business that would object to having such a facility nearby is cold and heartless. And any person that would object to having such a life-saver in their neighborhood should be ashamed of him or herself. If it saves a child then it is all worth it.
on January 24,2013 | 01:38PM
nitpikker wrote:
they gotta regulate the metal recycling places. those places dont care WHO they buy from. despite what they claim.
on January 24,2013 | 04:45PM
soundofreason wrote:
Same thing happened in Waipahu last year. Their solution? WRAP the wires back up in really thick plastic garbage bag material. Can't help these people here.
on January 24,2013 | 06:05PM
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