Utility Companies Say Copper Thefts are Down

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Attempts to crack down on copper thefts throughout the area have apparently been paying off. Utility companies say they've seen a decrease in the number of thefts during the past few months.

Frontier Communications has been a big target, with thieves stealing copper wire from phone lines to make some quick cash. But legislation was passed last year to make it harder for them to succeed.

"I think the awareness [helps]," Frontier Communications spokesman Bryan Stover said. "When they bring these new laws into effect, and once it gets out into the public that it's a crime to do this ... it's obviously a big deterrent."

Those laws make it harder for thieves to sell metal to scrapyards by requiring sellers to give detailed personal information during transactions.

Stover says they've seen about 30 thefts during the past three months, which is down from more than 100 this time last year.

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