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Man arrested after causing thousands in damages to a communications box in Wrightwood

WRIGHTWOOD, Calif. ( — A 34-year-old Wrightwood man is in jail after allegedly causing thousands in damages to a Spectrum Communications box that resulted in a major cellular outage, officials said.

On Tuesday, July 14, 2020, the suspect, James Barber, was seen tampering with the communications box in the area of Heath Creek Drive, officials said.

According to a sheriff’s news release, “he was confronted by a citizen and ran off after doing minor damage to the box.” On the following day during the early morning hours, Barber was seen by multiple citizens accessing another communications box near Sheep Creek Road and Highway 2.

“While inside the box he ripped wires out, causing a major cellular communications outage to many of the citizens of Wrightwood. Spectrum Communications estimated the damage to be between $8,000 and $20,000 to repair,” stated the release.

Deputies and Detectives from the Phelan Station investigated the incident and identified Barber as the suspect. An arrest warrant was written based on the information gathered during the investigation. Barber was located in Ventura County and arrested without incident. He’s currently being held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Barber is scheduled for arraignment in a Victorville courtroom on July 17, 2020.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is urged to contact Detective J. Gernon at Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station, Phelan Sub-Station, (760) 995-8781. Persons wishing to remain anonymous can report information to WeTip by calling 1-800-78-CRIME, or by accessing the website at

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