Descrambled! The 1983 crackdown on Long Island's illegal cable guys

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021
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CHANNEL 7 VAULT: On Aug. 4, 1983, Eyewitness News reporter Vince Lipari told us how cable companies on Long Island were banding together to try and crack down on the sale of cable TV descramblers. But not everyone was convinced this crime was worth prosecuting.

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Back in 1983, stealing cable television signals was a crime that cost the cable industry millions of dollars each year.

On Aug. 4, 1983, Eyewitness News reporter Vince Lipari told us how cable companies on Long Island were banding together to try and stop the crime by cracking down on the sale of descramblers. But not everyone was convinced this nonviolent crime was worth prosecuting.