FBI puts spotlight on copper theft

The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a report today highlighting the growing problem of copper wire theft and emphasizing how all levels of law enforcement are now attacking the once-obscure trend in such crimes. The report notes that the price of copper has risen more than 500 percent in recent years. Couple that with the growing need for copper in areas of Asia and Latin America, and you get a healthy worldwide copper trade, which in turn inspires rampant thefts from telecom networks, railroads, energy companies and other sources.

While that won't come as new information to anyone in the telecom industry that has heard of new instances of copper theft on an almost weekly basis, the FBI admitted that the issue of copper theft used to run below its radar. Now, however, the agency is working with task forces from local and state law enforcement agencies to fight the trend by creating more awareness and encouraging stronger punishment for the thieves.

For more:
- Here's the FBI's announcement linking to the report

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