Verizon Copper Thieves Strike, But Get Busted

It’s often a tough crime to solve, but this time, police arrested a couple of bandits they say were caught red-handed with copper telephone wire.

The 32- and 21-year-old men were spotted entering a Verizon storage facility by a company employee in Braintree, Mass., Tuesday morning, and loading up their van with copper cable. Police caught up with the men a short time later and found $3,000 worth of the precious metal in their vehicle, the Patriot Ledger reported.

The suspects likely face larceny and trespassing charges.

Copper theft has been a major problem for telcos over the past few years as the price of precious metals has risen dramatically. Many carriers have started to offer hefty rewards for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. The replacement cost and the man hours involved can be expensive and a hassle for the companies, not to mention the danger the perpetrators face when stealing it.

In this case, they were nabbing it from storage, but many times they are pulling the lines down off poles and come dangerously close to power lines. When the lines come down, people are left without phone service, which in the case of an emergency, can result in a life-or-death situation if they don’t have cellphone service.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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