Kent man, Enumclaw man face charges in Snoqualmie cable theft

Police say the two men may be connected to other incidents in King County, including Kent.

Comcast cable lines cut Nov. 30 in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Comcast

Comcast cable lines cut Nov. 30 in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Comcast

A Kent man and an Enumclaw man were arrested and face charges after they reportedly were linked to cable theft along Highway 202 between Snoqualmie and North Bend.

According to the Snoqualmie Police Department, this incident is one of several cable thefts since August 2023 around the same stretch of highway as well as in the greater King County and Pierce County region, including Nov. 30 in Kent that wiped out Comcast service to thousands.

Shane Wendon Israel, 45, of Kent, and Joshua Jay Eixenberger, 43, of Enumclaw, were charged on Dec. 20 with theft, malicious mischief and possessing stolen property all in the first degree, according to King County Superior Court filings.

In the late morning of Dec. 16, Snoqualmie and North Bend police responded to a call regarding a U-Haul driving back and forth on Elk Fields, located on Railroad Avenue Southeast. The caller mentioned a man in a ditch, situated between the highway and open fields, going in and out of the vehicle.

According to police, when officers arrived, they reported seeing multiple freshly cut pieces of aerial cable in the ditch. Shortly after, the police spotted the U-Haul with two men inside, fitting the initial description.

When the police approached the U-Haul, still in the ditch, they reported seeing around 300 feet of aerial cable — a copper communications cable fitting the exact cable cut in the area — in the back of the U-Haul.

Once the two men were arrested, the police discovered a business card belonging to a regional recycling center in one of the suspect’s wallets.

The police report indicated a potential link between the card and the location where the men were transporting the cables.

According to police, a Comcast security manager estimated the value of the stolen aerial cable at $3,000 per foot. He later noted the estimated cost of damages could reach from $100,000 to $500,000.

Following the arrests, court documents indicated that Israel’s bail was set at $100,000, while Eixenberger’s bail was set at $10,000. Israel is out on bail and on electronic home detention, according to King County jail records. Eixenberger also was released on bail, but is not on electronic home detention.

“The state believes bail is appropriate here as the defendant[s] poses a danger to the community due to the action of cutting and stealing aerial cables that provide communications to the community to include 911, aid, and fire calls for help,” according to King County Prosecuting Attorney Leesa Manion.

When discussing Israel’s bail, Manion brought attention to his ongoing case involving two bench warrants in Chehalis Municipal Court, where he failed to appear on two occasions, and a scheduled hearing on Dec. 20, coinciding with the arraignment for his current cable theft offense.

Both defendants have a criminal history. Eixenberger has one count of contempt in court in 2020 and two counts of third-degree theft in 1996 and 2012.

Israel has a long line of criminal history dating from 1992 to 2023, spanning from crimes against property and people, and to violations of orders or regulations.

These crimes included various degrees of assault or attempts of assault, theft, forgery, robbery, trespassing, malicious mischief, indecent exposure, violations of no contact and protection orders, taking a vehicle without permission, reckless driving, felony harassment, penalty for dangerous weapons and a misdemeanor for failure to obey an officer.

According to Snoqualmie police, there is potential that the thefts around the region may be linked, including the Nov. 30 Comcast cable theft in Kent.

Kent’s Assistant Police Chief Jason Kasner said detectives are still investigating that case and hadn’t determined if Israel and Eixenberger might be involved.

“Although we do not have specific suspects identified, we are not ruling them out as potential suspects at this time,” he said.

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