George County authorities searching for suspect wanted in connection to cut phone lines

James Zebulon McDaniel, 43, of Lucedale, is wanted on a felony warrant. He is described as...
James Zebulon McDaniel, 43, of Lucedale, is wanted on a felony warrant. He is described as white man around 5′9″ tall, weighing roughly 160 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.(George County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 3:04 PM CDT
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GEORGE COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Authorities are searching for a suspect in connection to phone lines being cut in George County.

James Zebulon McDaniel, 43, of Lucedale, is wanted on a felony warrant. He is described as white man around 5′9″ tall, weighing roughly 160 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Around 4:20 a.m. Oct. 1, George County deputies responded to a call of an unknown person messing with phone lines in the Bexley area on Highway 198 west.

Deputies located a man standing next a maroon 2007 Ford F-150 when they arrived on scene, and authorities said they then ran into the woods when deputies tried to talk to him.

Further searching revealed cut and rolled phone cable in the back of the vehicle along with various tools and more cable lying on the ground next to the truck.

Authorities identified McDaniel as the wanted man and obtained a search warrant of his home on Pipkins Cemetery Road in the Central community.

During the search, investigators found more evidence of McDaniel having committed similar crimes.

According to Sheriff Keith Havard, George County and surrounding areas have been suffering from a rash of this kind of crime. Authorities say criminals will often cut down the wire to access the copper inside and then scrap the copper at various scrap yards for whatever money they get in exchange.

Stolen or damaged phone lines can lead to an interruption in service and can even by a danger to public health when lost phone service prevents someone from contacting 911 in an emergency.

If anyone has information about McDaniel’s whereabouts, or notices any suspicious people or vehicles near phone lines in the late night or early morning hours especially, please contact the George County Sheriff’s Office at 601-947-4811.

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