An Alabama radio station have been left scratching their heads after thieves managed to make off with a 200 foot radio tower.
WJLX’s AM station signal has been significantly impacted by the theft, which first came to light after a landscaping crew went to the tower site to clean up the area.
Once they arrived, the team found that thieves had managed to dismantle and make off with the structure, which provides radio for those in Walker County.
Station manager Brett Elmore told WBRC: ‘When he arrived he called me Friday and said, ‘the tower is gone.’ I said what do you mean the tower is gone.
‘Are you sure you are at the right place, you know. He said ‘the tower is gone. There is wires everywhere and it is gone.’
Landscaping crews arrived at the WJLX mast, seen here last Friday to discover that thieves had dismantled and made off with the structure
Station manager Brett Elmore said he was hopeful that authorities would be able to find those responsible
Elmore added: ‘I have tried all weekend to figure it out, and I just can’t.
‘I have been in the radio business, around it all my life and then in it professionally for 26 years, and I can say I have never heard of anything like this. I can say I’ve seen it all now.’
According to Elmore, the station is now working with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to get temporary authority to carry on with their AM through other channels while they rebuild the signal.
He added: ‘This really hurts a small operation like this but like I said, I believe we will find out who did this. It is a federal crime and it absolutely will not be worth it to them.’
It comes just two weeks after a radio station in Oklahoma was left off the air after thieves stole copper worth $100 from a radio broadcast tower.
Will Payne, with Payne Media Group, told newson6 that the thieves caused half a million dollars’ worth of damage to the mast, while stripping the metal.
He told the outlet: ‘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.’
According to Payne, the station unexpectedly went off the air last month in which he thought was due to inclement weather but went to check the next morning.
Payne said: ‘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 added that the thieves made off with 80 to 100 feet of copper, saying: ‘We need to be able to reach the citizens of and with life-saving information, and you’ve taken our voice off the air, needlessly, for what 100 dollars worth of copper, shame on you.’