New Castle man charged after theft of Verizon cable led to outage for 500 customers

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A New Castle man is accused stealing more than $20,000 in wire/cable from Verizon that triggered a service outage.

New Castle County Police identified the suspect as Jason Elgart, 48.

Late Friday afternoon officers were dispatched to the unit block of University Avenue in the Wilmington Manor area after the theft was reported by Verizon.

Witnesses reported a large-scale outage in the area. It was also determined that $20,664.00 of wire/cable had been stolen.

The theft resulted in 500 customers losing FiOS service for nearly 19 hours. Officers identified the suspect as Elgart and linked him to a nearby residence on the unit block of University Avenue. Officers obtained a search warrant and found several hundred feet of fiber optic cable, burnt pieces of cable, and cutting tools.

Elgart was taken into custody and charged with one felony count of interruption of computer services in the first degree, one felony count of possession of burglar tools, one felony count of theft, and one misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled counterfeit substance. He was arraigned by the Justice of the Peace Court and held after lacking $15,000 in cash bail.