Phone Service Back Up in O’Neil Canyon and Los Padres Estates

  • Kern County Sheriff's Deputies were on scene first thing in the morning. [Chuck Herbert photo]

    Kern County Sheriff's Deputies were on scene first thing in the morning. [Chuck Herbert photo]

LEBEC (Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010, 1 p.m.)—Phone service has been restored to O’Neil Canyon, including Los Padres Estates, as of about 10 a.m. today, according to Chuck and Joyce Noble of Los Padres Estates. Chuck Nobel sent out an email to friends:

"We have had a rash of theft in rural areas—three in our area which shut down our phone and computers for a few days.
They hit Lebec and Gorman and one other area this week.

"Thieves are cutting the main trunk phone lines and are stealing the copper. They hit our area Tuesday evening and pulled several hundred yards of copper from the phone lines. They have also been stealing copper from cable lines as well. They finally got our lines up this morning around 10 a.m. Hopefully they will catch them as we have several elderly in the area that we keep an eye on and no way to get help in an emergency without driving several miles down to the nearest fire station."

LEBEC and FRAZIER PARK, Calif. (Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, 3:30 p.m.)—Senior Deputy Richard Garrett from the Frazier Park substation said in an interview that a call was received by California Highway Patrol at about 5:30 a.m. this morning when a passerby saw the downed telephone lines. Garrett and Deputy Stout responded shortly after. "We found the lines were cut in several places," Garrett said. He told The Mountain Enterprise that AT&T personnel said that a similar theft had occurred in Gorman "a few weeks back." Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating that event.

LOS PADRES ESTATES (Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, noon)—Phones are out in Los Padres Estates and the O’Neil Canyon sections of Lebec. Chuck Herbert of Lebec described it this way: “They cut the lines from the tanks on Lebec Road 100 yards south over the hill toward Lebec Oaks Road.”

Kern County Sheriff’s Deputies were at the location. They told Herbert they believe thieves are seeking to strip the wire to acquire the copper for sale, he said.

“The deputies are on top of it,” Herbert said, “there were three or four of them down there first thing about 9:30 a.m. A lot of us work through our computers, we make our livelihood from working over the phone lines. This is like stealing a man’s tools. What kind of people are coming into this canyon?” Herbert said. Attempts to call into the area from Frazier Park or Pine Mountain yielded ringing without an answer or a phone company message to explain the system outage.

The Mountain Enterprise was told by an AT & T service technician named “Faith” (who would not give her last name) that "service should be restored by Friday, Nov. 19 before 8 p.m.” Faith said the company has dispatched technicians to the location.

We will provide updates as they are available.

This is part of the November 12, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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