Just when you thought copper theft couldn't become a bigger problem for America's telephone companies, comes this.
Verizon is offering $50,000 for information leading to an arrest and prosecution of those involved in a whopping 20 incidents of copper theft in the Pittsburgh, Pa., area, KDKA-TV reported.
More than 2,000 feet of copper cable have been stolen, causing an estimated $400,000 in damages.
"These incidents are incomprehensible because they put people's lives in danger and can cost thousands of dollars to repair," Hank Abbott, director of operations for Verizon Pennsylvania, told the news station. "We will not tolerate these deliberate and malicious acts against our telephone network and our customers."
In addition to causing a disruption in phone service that could seriously impact someone in an emergency, the thieves themselves are often in dangerous situations, climbing adjacent power lines to cut down the telephone wire.