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“Dude, What Was That Noise?”: Indiana Tower Knocked Down by Vandals

“Dude, What Was That Noise?”: Indiana Tower Knocked Down by Vandals

Oh, the lengths to which some people will go for air conditioning.
Two young men are charged in a break-in at the WBOW(AM) transmitter building on U.S. Route 40 in Terre Haute, Ind., late last month. They reportedly broke through two steel doors and knocked loose a small window air conditioner, small radio, box fan and extension ladder; but the station transmitting equipment was left alone – until the vandals attempted to flee the scene.
According to the station’s newsletter, the two accidentally ran their Dodge pickup into a set of guy wires. Instead of stopping, backing up and going underneath the wires, they proceeded with the wires broken loose and wrapped around the front end of the truck, pulling the 130-foot tower to the ground.
It had been standing since 1959.
General Manager Mike Petersen confirmed the report. He said he was notified that the Crossroads Communications station was off the air at 9:30 that evening due to a guy wire that had fallen over the power line, thus opening the fuse on the transformer outside the building. The damage was discovered the next morning. The truck was found stuck in the mud behind the transmitter, with the air conditioner and fan in the back.
Vigo County Sheriff’s deputies traced the owner of the truck, and two arrests have since been made, sending one of the culprits to the county jail, Petersen said.
Station Engineer Tom Mulvhill attached a 180-foot makeshift long-wire antenna to two large fence posts to get WBOW back on the air, with reduced power of 100 watts. Petersen said a new tower should be up within two weeks, but the timeframe could be delayed if the Wabash River floods, as has been forecast.