Cox Media Group’s WHIO-AM Dayton reports that sister station WHKO-FM “K99.1” was temporarily knocked off the air Monday morning when brazen thieves made off with equipment at the transmitter site. They are now facing criminal charges.
CMG Ohio Chief Radio Engineer Benny Spitler was alerted at 6:20 am Monday that the Country FM was off the air. He called police after finding the gate down and the door to the building pried open. Missing were computers, printers and the controller for the transmitter.
Employees at A&B Iron and Metal, however, noticed that the “scrap” being peddled by three men in a truck was covered in WHIO and Cox logos. They notified police, who showed up in time to arrest two of the men. The third is being sought.
So far the two in custody are facing charges of breaking and entering and receiving stolen property, but other charges may be added.
RBR-TVBR observation: A continuous problem for broadcasters, who have to leave lots of valuable equipment at tower sites. Some thieves have even been known to dig up copper ground radials from AM sites. Fortunately for Cox, the Dayton thieves were not the world’s brightest criminals.