A juvenile tried stripping wire from a cellphone tower, cops say. It didn’t end well.

A juvenile was arrested on a malicious mischief charge after police officers say they found him hiding on the Veterans Avenue property where a cellphone tower had been damaged and an alarm system activated.

Police believe the juvenile, whose name was not released, damaged the tower when he stripped out metal wire worth thousands of dollars.

Wire theft is a problem nationwide, but Biloxi police Maj. Chris De Back said he sees fewer cases now than he did in the two years after Hurricane Katrina, when thieves were stripping wire from homes as they were rebuilt after the storm.

De Back said he investigated one case where a couple got to their house, rebuilt after severe damage, to find the new air conditioning unit was not working. They soon learned the wiring had been stripped from the unit.

Anyone with information about the cell-phone tower case can contact the Biloxi Police Department at 228-392-0641, the Criminal Investigations Division at 228-435-6112, or the Criminal Intelligence Unit at

Tips can be reported anonymously online to Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers.

Anita Lee: 228-896-2331, @calee99