WICHITA FALLS, Texas — Federal authorities and local police are asking the public for help identifying the people they believe cut several structural wires that held two communication towers in place in Wichita Falls.
The alleged tampering occurred in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, officials said.
One of the towers, which was 500 feet tall, collapsed to the ground near the 3700 block of Arena Road after the wires were cut, officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.
The second tower, which stands at 1,200 feet tall near Seymour Highway, did not collapse. A nearby business did have to be evacuated, though, according to officials. Investigators believe if it had collapsed, people could have been hurt or killed.
“Along with the Wichita Falls Police Department, we take this investigation seriously and are committed to protecting the infrastructure that connects our community,” Dallas FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno said in a news release.
The FBI is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information that leads to a suspect identification, arrest and conviction in the case. Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers is also offering up to $1,500 for information that leads to an arrest is approved by their board.
Tipsters can remain anonymous. To submit a tip, call the FBI's Dallas Field Office at 972-559-5000 or Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers tip line at 940-322-9888, or go to tips.fbi.gov.