Copper theft shuts down AT&T service in Dallas

AT&T's landline voice customers in Dallas, Texas were without phone service yesterday when thieves made off with 200 feet of copper cabling.

Since the cable theft was done in the very early morning, AT&T said only about 20 customers reported they were without service yesterday afternoon, meaning that the outage was not widespread.

Stealing these particular copper cables, which AT&T estimates could fetch no more than $2000 on the scrap metal market, came at a major risk because they are high tension and are located right next to utility electric lines. There has been no shortage of copper thieves being electrocuted when they mistakenly cut into an adjacent utility electric wire.  

After a slight lull, a jump in copper prices has spurred on a new wave of copper theft. Similar to AT&T, 700 of Canada's Telus wireline voice customers were out of service two weeks ago when thieves stole two copper cables. AT&T is offering a $3000 reward to anyone who can help bring the thieves to justice.   

For more:
- Dallas Morning News has this article

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