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Police searching for people using Cox equipment for target practice

(Silent Witness Photo)

Target shooters in the far West Valley may not realize the kind of danger they’re creating by taking pot shots at utility boxes and lines.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Jamie Rothschild said the vandalism is happening in the desert south of Interstate 10 near Miller Road.

“There’s probably at least $100,000 worth of damage that’s already been caused.”

Susan Anable with Cox Communications said this is not a victimless crime.

“Most people probably think it’s innocent to shoot at inanimate objects in the desert,” she said. “Our facilities out there are carrying critical services.”

That means when internet and phone service is knocked out, people who live in the area have no way of calling 911 in an emergency. Repair technicians are also put in danger. In fact, one of the trucks was actually hit by a bullet while driving.

Anable said the damage costs a lot of time and money. Cox is  working on plans to bury all of the equipment and lines, which will be very expensive.

As far as suspects go, “based on the amount of people who use the area for target practice, it could be one person or it could be a ton of different people,” Rothschild said.

Read more about this case.

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