A man and a woman have been arrested for allegedly taking down part of an Oklahoma radio station’s nearly 500-foot tower to steal some copper, Choctaw County Sheriff Terry Park says.
The tower, located in Hugo, belongs to Payne Media Group’s station K95.5. The radio station posted a video of the damage on Facebook following the vandalism that took place
“Cut the guy-wire on one leg and that’s what brought entire top sections down,” the video’s narrator, identified to Fox News by the station as Will Payne, says. “And then, they proceeded to disassemble.”
Cut hardware was shown as viewers were told how the transmission line connected to the antenna was targeted by the thieves.
“What they do, these copper thieves, is they cut it up in these 10-foot sections,” Payne says. “So right now we know that there’s probably eight to 10 of these sections in the back of a truck or a van, maybe. This is what we need to be looking out for, and if you can help me out as we try to figure out our next step, what we’re gonna do to rebuild this place.”
“Let’s make them pay,” Payne says about the crime that happened overnight, leaving the mangled tower on the ground. He said the copper taken would only be worth about $100, but Sheriff Park believes otherwise.
“Loss of copper a few hundred dollars, damage to the tower and building approximately 500,000.00,” Park posted on his Facebook page.
The station, identified by call letters KITX, is still not available over-the-air as a result of the tower damage, but can be listened to online. It is also posting updates about the investigation on Facebook.
Sheriff Park identified the suspects as Matt Wilson and Candice Logan. Local media outlet the Paris News identifies Wilson as being 37 years old, and Logan as 34. The investigation is ongoing.
The tower was built in 2017 and K95.5 was the first FM station to serve northeast Texas and southeast Oklahoma, a station spokesperson told Fox News via Facebook Messenger. They added that local community response has been “humbling.”