Copper Thieves Strike Metro Phone Lines

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ATLANTA,None —

More copper thieves are turning to phone lines for the metal and the risky comes with a high cost, according to one major service provider.

"They get up the lines and cut the cables and take them to scrap metal dealers and actually make a few dollars out of them," said Emily Edmonds, spokeswoman for AT&T.

The company renewed its push against the crimes on Tuesday, offering a reward of up to $3,000 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

"The main concern is when copper cables are cut, that our customers are not able to access emergency services, so that is our biggest concern," Edmonds said.

Channel 2’s Manuel Bojorquez went along with AT&T crews who recently found two cut lines in the same area of Fairburn in south Fulton County, off Highway 92.

South Fulton has been hit particularly hard by the thieves, with 14 reports of copper theft in Fairburn, and 8 reports in Palmetto just this year, according to AT&T.

"Some of these houses have been losing their service," said Matthew Reagin, who lives near one of the cut lines in Fairburn. He watched as crews worked to repair the lines.

Police urge residents to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and are working to get scrap metal dealers to ask customers for ID when they bring in copper.