Stealth steal: Vandals walk off with a 200-foot AM broadcast tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Authorities are investigating the theft of a 200-foot guyed tower in Alabama.

Authorities are investigating the theft of a 200-foot guyed tower in Alabama. Graphic:

On Friday, Brett Elmore, general manager of WJLX radio, a nondirectional AM radio station, went on Facebook and announced that someone had made off with his 200-foot-tall guyed tower from a site in Jasper, Alabama, that is located at a dead end near the sprawling Mar-Jac poultry plant.

“This morning, my bush hog crew went down to a tower site we have behind MarJac to do an early cleanup of the property before we did some more work down there. When he arrived, he called and notified me that not only was my building vandalized, but my two-hundred-foot tower was gone!” said Elmore.

Elmore said the thieves stole every piece of equipment out of the building, cut the guy wires to the tower and removed it from the property.

Elmore requested that if anyone has any information regarding the theft, to contact the  Jasper Police Department at 205-221-2121.

Elmore told Radio World Sunday evening that his engineers planned to file for special temporary authority with the FCC today for a silent AM and to operate the FM translator on its own for the time being while the company decides its next steps. The tower was not insured.

In mid-January, thieves sabotaged a 500-foot tower in Oklahoma in order to steal the coaxial cable. They were arrested two days later. However, the vandals that stole the WJLX tower might have taken it for the structure’s value, although galvanized steel can be recycled easily.

Correction: Brett Elmore had been listed as the owner of WJLX. According to FCC Records, the station is owned by James D. Earley.