GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) – A George County man is wanted by the sheriff’s office for allegedly cutting phone lines over the weekend.

Deputies responded to a call about a person tampering with phone lines on Highway 198 West in the Bexley community around 4:20 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1.

When they arrived, deputies said a white male standing next to a maroon Ford F-150 ran into the woods when they tried to make contact with him.

In the truck, they allegedly found cut and rolled phone cable with tools for cable stripping.

Investigators identified the man as James McDaniel, 43. A search warrant of his home on Pipkens Cemetary Road in the Central community turned up more evidence of similar crimes, the sheriff’s office says.

A felony warrant for McDaniel’s arrest has been issued. He is about 5-foot-9and weighs 160 pounds with brown hair and eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers online or at 877-787-5898 to remain anonymous.

Sheriff Keith Havard said the area has seen an uptick in phone line cutting recently. People cut the wire to scrap the copper from the inside. He says stolen or damaged phone lines cost utilities money and can interrupt phone service for local residents, becoming dangerous in the case of an emergency.

The sheriff’s office encourages any sightings of suspicious vehicles or individuals in the vicinity of phone lines or poles, especially in the late night or early morning hours, to report it.

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