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AT&T increases bounty on fiber vandals to $250K

Company is offering a reward of $250,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals involved in cutting its fiber-optic cables in Silicon Valley.

AT&T has increased its reward to $250,000 for information that will help law enforcement arrest and convict vandals who cut the company's fiber-optic cables in San Jose, Calif., on Thursday, the company said in its Twitter feed.

On Thursday, AT&T said it would offer a $100,000 reward for anyone who has information that could lead to the arrest or conviction of anyone involved in cutting the fiber.

Thousands of wireless, Internet, and landline phone customers were without service beginning at about 1:30 a.m. PDT on Thursday after vandals had cut four fiber-optic cables owned by AT&T. A cable in San Carlos, Calif., owned by Sprint Nextel, had also been severed about two later. But Sprint spokeswoman Crystal Davis said the company was able to reroute most of that traffic onto another fiber link and for the most part, service was not disrupted.

Wireless customers from almost every carrier were also without service, because AT&T's network is used to connect cell towers back to these carriers' respective national networks. Officials also said that residents in the San Jose/Santa Clara region were without emergency 911 service for much of the day.

AT&T said early Friday morning that service had been restored to all of its customers.

San Jose Police Sgt. Ronnie Lopez said that the fiber cut appeared to be deliberate and the police department is treating it as a felony act of vandalism. The FBI has also been briefed on the case, although Lopez said that for now local officials are handling the investigation.

Anyone with information or tips is being asked to call 408-947-STOP.