Thieves steal 200-foot radio tower in Alabama, station forced off air

The stolen radio tower and broadcasting equipment were critical components of the AM station, serving as a vital source of communication for the Jasper community.

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Courtesy: USAToday

Residents of a small town in Alabama were left stunned when they discovered that thieves had brazenly made off with a 200-foot radio tower and transmitter from a local radio station, causing the station to go off air. The incident, which occurred in Jasper, Alabama, on February 2, has not only disrupted the radio service but also dealt a significant blow to the community's access to news and information.

The stolen radio tower and broadcasting equipment were critical components of the AM station, serving as a vital source of communication for the Jasper community. Brett Elmore, the general manager of the radio station, expressed the profound impact of the theft, stating that the community has essentially "lost its voice" without the station's presence.

"The slogan of our station is the sound of Walker County, and right now, with our station down, the community has lost its sound and lost its voice. This hurts, and it hurts our community," Elmore lamented.

The theft was discovered when a maintenance crew arrived at the station and found that the tower and all broadcasting equipment housed in a nearby building had been stolen. The tower, which had stood since the 1950s, was a cornerstone of the station's infrastructure.

"To break into my building and steal all my equipment, and the tower? Hell, leave me the tower — that’s the most expensive thing to replace," Elmore expressed his frustration.

Authorities suspect that the thieves meticulously dismantled the tower into smaller pieces using sophisticated tools before making their getaway. Despite ongoing investigations, no arrests have been made in connection with the theft.

Compounding the loss, neither the stolen tower nor the equipment were insured, leaving the radio station facing a daunting financial burden. It is estimated that rebuilding the infrastructure will cost between $60,000 to $100,000.

In response to the crisis, a GoFundMe page has been launched to raise funds for the station's reconstruction. Elmore remains hopeful that the local community will rally together to support the rebuilding efforts and restore the radio station to its former glory.

As investigations continue and efforts to rebuild the station gather momentum, the Jasper community remains resilient in the face of adversity, determined to reclaim their "sound" and revive their vital source of communication.