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Man allegedly cuts cable and telephone lines to dozens of homes in Lowell

(WTAP)
Published: Apr. 8, 2020 at 5:57 PM EDT
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Police in Lowell have arrested a man suspected of cutting approximately 100 phone and cable lines early Tuesday morning.

Lowell Police Chief Jeff Perry says 29 year-old Elmer Wenzel was arrested Tuesday evening on two charges related to damaging cable and phone lines - and one count of disobeying the state’s shelter-in-place order. Perry says more charges will be filed once authorities have a final count of the homes damaged.

Perry said each house hit would be an additional charge against Wenzel.

Authorities say Wenzel was already out of jail on bond for a breaking and entering. After his arrest Tuesday night, he was taken to the Washington County Jail, where he is now.

Perry was assisted by the Washington County Sheriff’s office in the investigation. The Sheriff provided WTAP a recording of a 9-1-1 call between Wentzel and an operator that took place around 3 p.m. Tuesday. During the call, Wentzel said he had been cutting “cables to satellite dishes” in the area to shut down a "slave database."

Among the many houses hit, the Mayor of Lowell’s home had some of its wires cut.

““It’s amazing that he got that many wires. It just boggles your mind, but what gets me is the problems that could’ve caused. Somebody maybe had a heart attack, or a fire, then they couldn’t get a hold of 911 and then you’d really have a problem,” said Mayor Steve Weber.

Many of the lines damaged were fixed Tuesday afternoon.

Mayor Weber was pleased with how quickly law enforcement handled the situation and said the Washington County Prosecutor’s office was a significant help during the investigation and moving forward.

“These guys did a heck of a job. I give Chief Perry the credit, and Deputy Carr. They’ve both worked hard on this and gotten it taken care of very quickly and that’s great,” Weber said.

And Chief Perry says it feels good to solve a case like this.

"After 34 years, it's really good. I like it here, this is a great town," said Perry.

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