Up to 1,000 people in Rusk and Panola counties are left without internet and phone services due to a break in at an Eastex Telephone Company facility in the Pine Hill area.
The incident resulted in five cell towers going down, according to the Rusk County Sheriff's Office.
Services went down around 3 a.m. and crews have been working since to restore services. They're hoping to have services restored by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Investigators believe the break in was to steal copper.
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Areas such as Pine Hill and Church Hill had no service. Eastex Telephone Cooperation Co. said it was a complete outage; no 911, dial tone or service from cell towers. Rusty Doorman oversees the service activity at Eastex Telephone and he said crews were working on repairing the damages since four in the morning.
The person or people responsible took out cable wires, cutting fiber optic and DSL wires in the process. People weren't able to make 911 calls and Rusk county's sheriff, Jeff Price, said deputies had to patrol areas that were affected by the disconnection.
"If someone is having an issue or a problem down there, they're just going to have to try the best they can to contact us," Price said.
Deputies said the break-in is under investigation. Investigators believe it was a failed attempt in stealing copper but Price said this kind of disruption is a federal offense. Price said whomever is responsible would face charges of interruption with telecommunications and public communications.
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