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Two men attempting to steal copper wiring and metal piping from a cell phone tower and generator were interrupted when a technician arrived at the scene to determine why power had been cut.

Police were called to a warehouse in the 1900 block of Buffalo Avenue at 5 a.m. Friday and were met by a field operations technician for Cricket Communications. The worker said Cricket has a cell tower and generator on top of the warehouse along with copper wiring running behind the building.

The technician said he received a call at 4:16 a.m. from the network operator informing him power had been lost at the location. When he arrived at the scene 10 minutes later he heard someone running northwest from the scene and tried to chase the suspect down but was unsuccessful.

He then found copper wiring from the tower and generator had been removed and rolled up onto spools, and metal piping had been cut and placed on the ground.

Police found a pair of bolt cutters nearby. The owner of the warehouse looked at surveillance video and said the footage shows two people with flashlights near the phone generator rolling up copper wiring.

Damage to the tower and generator was estimated at $5,000.

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