Early Friday morning KSPO 106.5 realized it was off-the-air and when engineers went to the radio tower they transmit from they found thieves had broke into the transmission site, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
The transmission site on Beacon Hill is maintained by KXLY but KSPO is not one of our radio stations.
Sometime overnight thieves broke into the transmission site, and around 7:15 Friday morning KSPO realized they went off the air. KXLY engineer Marlin Jackson went up to the site to see what was wrong.
“It was all open. The doors were open, the gates were open,” he said.
Right away Jackson could tell this was going to be a lot of work getting things up and running.
“It was vandalized, they cut some copper out of the power box and took some transmission line,” he said.
Where the thieves likely got off with less than $100 in copper the cost of being off air, the urgent labor to repair damages, as well as replacing the copper will costs the radio station thousands of dollars.
In addition to KSPO thieves also broke into the new Spokane County radio site, stealing laptops and other valuable equipment inside, which cost the county tens of thousands of dollars.
Jackson thinks these thieves had experience and knew exactly what to look for.
“The locks are hardened but they were able to cut through those, and then the lock on the KSPO building is inside a container where it's really hard to get a cutter in there, I'm not really sure how they were able to do that,” he said.
Since the transmission site is federally regulated the FBI will be assisting in the investigation.