Striking Verizon workers are trying to sabotage the company’s phone lines, officials said.
Crews repaired fiber optic cable that had been cut on University Terrace in northwest D.C. Thursday. A similar incident happened in upstate New York: A circuit box was damaged, knocking out power to several thousand customers.
Verizon said it has seen more than 90 similar incidents and is offering a $50,000 reward.
In the District alone, Verizon has seen 16 cases of sabotage since Aug. 6, leaving thousands of customers without service, officials said.
Union officials condemned the acts.
Verizon wants anyone who sees sabotage or other suspicious activity around Verizon equipment to call police or Verizon security at 800-997-3287. They ask the public to be aware of the following:
There should be a marked Verizon vehicle present if an individual is working on a telephone box; orange cones should be present.
Non-Verizon vehicles should have signage indicating that their specific company is a contractor working on behalf of Verizon.
Be alert for activity at telephone equipment at off hours - Most service related activities will take place between the hours of 6AM-6PM.
Be alert for suspicious people. e.g., persons walking, on skates or on bikes (particularly any wearing red shirts) that stop at a telephone box, a cross connect box or fiber hub or other telephone facility and appear to be working on telephone equipment.
Be alert to someone carrying an ax, hatchet or cutting tool of any type including a scissors.
Be alert for someone who spends a very short time in an opened phone box.
All Verizon employees should be visibly displaying his/her company issued ID badge at worksites.