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Thursday, July 8, 2010 - 1:02pm

Utilities Offer Reward For Metal Thieves

Utilities across the state have renewed a call for help from the public in fighting metal theft in Georgia.

Stealing copper and other metals from residential and commercial properties is big business for thieves...and a big financial headache for their victims.

A coalition of Georgia utilities is offering a $500 for information leading to arrests in individual cases.

Jeff Wilson with Georgia Power says it costs utilities in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair and replace stolen wiring and other metals:

“Any way they can get their hands on it, they’re stealing it. It’s been a problem for awhile…we’ve seen an increase lately. So what we’re doing is partnering with the other utilities to hopefully catch these folks.”

In Carrollton in early May, $500,000 worth of copper was stolen from Southwire Corporation. Carrollton police say the case remains under active investigation.

Georgia law was toughened three years ago to get felony convictions of metal thieves.

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