Thieves Cut Down Radio Broadcast Tower In Southeastern Oklahoma To Steal $100 Worth of Copper

Will Payne with Payne Media Group says the thieves probably caused half a million dollars' worth of damage and only got away with about 100 dollars' worth of copper. 

Wednesday, January 17th 2024, 6:31 pm



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A radio station in southeastern Oklahoma is off the air after the owners say thieves stole copper off the radio broadcast tower. 

He says they cut cables off the 488-foot tower to make it fall down and then cut it up to get the copper.

Will Payne with Payne Media Group says the thieves probably caused half a million dollars' worth of damage and only got away with about 100 dollars' worth of copper. 

The radio tower for KITX near Hugo is now on the ground and in pieces.

"They either used wire cutters or something really similar to that, and they just cut the guide wires on the top section, and after that, that's when it folded and came to the ground," he said.

Payne says when the station unexpectedly went off the air late Monday night, he thought it was because of the weather, but when he went the next morning to check it out, he knew something was wrong.

"I drove up just a little bit closer, I saw the door had been breached, saw a few other things, and at that point just backed out and called the sheriff's department," he said.

He says the thieves cut up about 80 to 100 feet of copper and hauled it off.

Payne says he's working on fixing the tower and getting back on the air, but he's frustrated thieves did this to the community. 

"We need to be able to reach the citizens of Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma with life-saving information, and you've taken our voice off the air, needlessly, for what 100 dollars worth of copper, shame on you," he said.

He says he's working with the Choctaw County Sheriff's Office as well as going to local scrap yards to see if he can get any information on the thieves. 

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