AT&T: Copper Theft Reaches Crisis Point

Heres one that wont be going up on any Welcome to Alabama signs anytime soon.

AT&T has just singled out the Yellowhammer State as the nations leader in the theft of copper telephone cable. The phone giant wants the spotlight not only cast on the thieves, but also on those that buy it from them, said Huntsvilles WAFF-TV.

“There are people out there who accept this stolen copper, and it’s very easy to detect copper that is stolen from typical scrap metal transactions,” AT&T Regional Director Dave Hargrove told the station.

Earlier this week, copper thieves hit Birminghams west side the second time in five days that cable from the very same location was stolen, WBRC-TV reported. A hospital was one of buildings that lost phone service. AT&T is offering a $5,000 reward if a tip can lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.

Its a crime thats increased dramatically since the economy took a turn for the worst in 2008. No doubt youve seen the price of gold and other metals skyrocket lately; the price of copper makes it worth stealing: $3 per pound.

This is much more than a mere hassle for phone companies who must fix the copper lines and customers who temporarily lose phone or Internet service. People caught in emergency situations might not be able to reach police, fire or an ambulance.

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