AT&T says Alabama has the highest rate of copper theft

Out of all of its network regions, AT&T (NYSE: T) is seeing that the state with the largest number of incidents of people stealing copper wire from its network is Alabama.

Following recent reports of copper theft in the Atlanta Metro and Texas, it appears that since January there has been over 200 cases in Alabama alone.

As Dave Hargrove, AT&T Regional Director points out, copper theft is being exacerbated by unscrupulous scrap metal dealers. 

"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," Hargrove told WAFF TV. "We have a problem, not only with the thieves, but the people who create a market for the stolen merchandise."  

One main concern for AT&T and other service providers, including BT (NYSE: BT) and Frontier (NYSE: FTR) is that copper theft can not only wipe out users' Internet service but also hamper emergency 911 calls from going through. Besides service delays, a number of incidences of copper theft have resulted in the thieves being electrocuted.

For more:
- WAFF TV has this article

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