GUTHRIE, W.Va. (AP) -- The West Virginia Department of Agriculture has lost communications with the outside world because copper thieves cut its phone and data lines.

Department spokesman Buddy Davidson tells the Charleston Daily Mail that services are expected to be restored by Wednesday afternoon.

Employees discovered the severed lines Monday morning.

Davidson says the thieves cut fiber optic data lines as well as phone lines. That knocked out email and other online services to the department's headquarters in Guthrie.

Frontier Communications spokesman Dan Page says copper thefts have become a significant problem.


Information from: Charleston Daily Mail,

Copyright 2011 The AP.

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