WISE COUNTY, Va. -

Verizon has a warning about an increase number of criminal acts that have caused major telephone and internet service outages, creating repeated risks to public safety for hundreds of customers in wise county.

Over the past several days, thieves have been responsible for incidents involving theft of copper communications cables in Verizon's telecommunications network, disrupting service to nearly 250 customers in the Pound area. Verizon has had nine cases of copper theft in Wise County this year. 

Verizon urges anyone with information about specific incidents to contact Verizon's Security Control Center at 1-800-997-3287.

Those who witness any acts in progress should immediately the Wise County Sheriff's Office at 276-328-9647.