JUNCTION CITY, Ore. - The sheriff caught up with a man suspected of stealing copper wire that knocked out phone service to hundreds of people Tuesday just as he was preparing to alter the wire to make it easier to sell as scrap.
The Lane County Sheriff's Office arrested Brian Butterfield, 45, on chrages of theft and possession of meth.
A tip led deputies to Butterfield and the metal on Bureau of Land Management land off Highway 36 around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The wire was stolen around 5 a.m. Tuesday from High Pass Road and Oaklea, knocking out CenturyLink phone service to hundreds of Junction City and Cheshire area customers. Service was restored by 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The sheriff's office said it is very rare to recover stolen metal.