This Wasn't a Theft Anyone Was Expecting

Someone made off with a 200-foot-tall AM radio tower in Alabama
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2024 7:52 AM CST
This Wasn't a Theft Anyone Was Expecting
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Daria Nipot)

There are small-time thefts, and there are big-time thefts—and then there are thefts that no one can adequately explain. One of the latter took place last week in Jasper, Alabama, where a 200-foot-high AM radio tower used by station WJLX was inexplicably stolen, reports the New York Post. In a Friday Facebook post from WJLX, the station announced that a landscaping crew made the discovery that morning when they headed to the Walker County site to tend to the property. When the crew got there, one member called station manager Brett Elmore to let him know "that not only was my building vandalized, but my TWO HUNDRED FOOT TOWER WAS GONE!" the social media post noted.

"I said, 'What do you mean the tower is gone?'" Elmore tells WBRC, noting that he double-checked that the crew was at the correct location. "He said, 'The tower is gone. There is wires everywhere, and it is gone.'" Elmore adds that the perp (or perps) cut the wires that secured the heavy steel tower and lifted "every piece of equipment out of the building." Elmore says they'll rebuild the tower, and that the FCC has given WJLX the temporary OK to air the station's AM channel via alternative methods, but he says he's not going to give up on working with investigators to find out who's responsible.

"It is a FEDERAL crime to tamper with a federally licensed facility," the station's Facebook post notes. Elmore tells WBRC: "I have been in the radio business ... professionally for 26 years, and I can say I have never heard of anything like this. I can say I've seen it all now." The comments section on WJLX's Facebook post contained remarks both confused and cryptic. "If people live around there, then how did they not feel the ground shake when the tower fell?" one skeptic queried. Another simply wrote, "I know the first place that I would look," to which someone else replied: "Me too." Anyone with information should call the Jasper Police Department at 205-221-2121. (More strange stuff stories.)

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