Copper Theft Stakes Grow: Verizon Offers Whopping $50,000 for Vandalism

Copper theft is serious business, and has been ever since the economy spiraled and the price of precious metals went sky high. Verizon is taking it seriously, offering $50,000 in reward money to anyone who can help police discover who vandalized copper cables that run under a Pennsylvania bridge.

The carrier has been victimized twice in the past two weeks at the Bingaman Street Bridge in Reading, Penn., resulting in a loss of service for customers in the area, the Reading Eagle reported. This is one of the largest copper-theft rewards a telco has offered.

It’s a serious safety hazard for anyone who might need to call 9-1-1 while phone lines are down, and it can a lot of money in repairs. Copper theft is often risky for the perpetrators as well since phone lines are many times in close proximity to power lines.

"These incidents are incomprehensible because they put people’s lives in danger and can cost thousands of dollars to repair," Jay Beasley, director of operations for Verizon Pennsylvania, said in a press release. "We will not tolerate these deliberate and malicious acts against our telephone network and our customers."

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