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Criminal investigation into cut phone lines that caused massive outages

By PAT BAILEY

NORTHERN ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - New York State Police say they are in the middle of a criminal investigation surrounding wires cut on property that belongs to Verizon.

The damaged wires have led to thousands of phone outages in northern Oneida County, authorities said.

State Police Captain Francis Coots says the lines cut were on Doyle Road in Deerfield where a service box had been entered and several lines within had been cut.

According to State Police, the damage may have occurred sometime between August 8 or 9 and has caused Verizon to experience a wide-spread outage to landline service, and also affected cell service in Northern Oneida County.

Places affected by the cut lines were the Village of Remsen and other areas northward. That includes preventing people from being able to call 911.

Around 8:30 a.m. on Monday, August 9, Mike Bills, who works for a water company in the area, says he was unable to receive text messages, emails or make phone calls on his iPhone.

"I can't contact any carriers to help haul spring water to our customers," said Bills, who uses his phone for work. "So loads are sitting there and I have no one to take them to or having a way of getting a hold of most of them."

According to the Lewis County Sheriff's Office, the phone companies who are affected by the issue are "working to correct the problem."

There is no current timetable for repairs, added the Sheriff's Department.

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