Published: Dec 11, 2011 6:24 PM EST

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office says a copper wire theft is to blame for knocking out phone service to about 100 customers in Port Charlotte.

Century Link discovered someone accessed a utility phone box and removed copper wire.

Deputies say the coverage outage includes an area south of Hillsborough Blvd., north of Veterans Blvd. east of Theresa Blvd., and west of Atwater St.

Century Link told deputies that it hopes to have temporary service restored to its customers within two to three business days.

Anyone with information on the copper theft is asked to call CCSO at 941-639-2101, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).