If you happen to see a 200-foot radio tower lying around, there’s a radio station in Jasper, Alabama, that would love to hear from you.
WJLX-AM has been off the air since Feb. 2, when a landscaping crew visited the site where the tower is supposed to be for a bit of routine maintenance.
The station’s general manager, Brett Elmore, told Birmingham Fox affiliate WBRC that he was shocked when a crew member called him with some news.
“When he arrived, he called me on Friday and said, ‘The tower is gone,’” Elmore told WBRC. “I said, ‘What do you mean the tower is gone — are you sure you are at the right place?’ He said: ’No, the tower is gone. There are wires everywhere and it’s gone.”
There was more:
This morning, my bush hog crew went down to a tower site ... to do an early cleanup of the property before we did some more work down there.
When he arrived, he called and notified me that not only was my building vandalized, but my TWO HUNDRED FOOT TOWER WAS GONE!
They stole every piece of equipment out of the building, cut the guy wires to the tower and SOMEHOW managed to down a 200′ tower and take it from the property.
Although Elmore filed a police report, Jasper Mayor David O’Mary told NBC News that local authorities lack the information needed “to conduct a full-fledged investigation.”
WJLX listeners can still visit the station online. But a note on its webpage said that the Federal Communications Commission denied a request to broadcast on FM radio via a sister station.
Local broadcasting colleagues have reportedly offered to help find a temporary transmitter location, according to Inside Radio.
Elmore said that the tower and other equipment weren’t insured, so the station has organized a GoFundMe campaign to raise $60,000 and get back on the air.
As of Friday afternoon, the campaign had raised around $1,400, but Elmore is trying to remain optimistic.
“We’re a small-market station, but we’re going to get back, and we’re going to be back on the air as soon as we possibly can,” he told NBC News.
Currently, there are no suspects in the theft, but Elmore told Inside Radio that he doesn’t “see some guy off the street doing this,” and added, “This looks like a professional hit.”
Anyone with information as to who might have a 200-foot radio tower in their possession is asked to contact the Jasper Police Department.