Verizon offers up $10,000 to catch Southern California copper cable thieves


Verizon copper cable coils

We’re not sure what the going rate is for copper wiring, but it must be high enough that someone would risk their freedom to try and steal it. That’s the situation Verizon Wireless is facing down in Southern California where someone (or a group of individuals) has been making their way from city to city, stealing Verizon’s copper communications cables along the way.

Verizon says that over 16,000 feet of copper cable has been stolen over the past 6 months, with the most recent of 16 incidents taking place last week on June 22nd. The result has been outages in these areas, sometimes lasting as long as several days until service could be restored. Margaret Serjack, Verizon California’s region president made the following statement:

“These thefts not only disconnect our customers from the phone and online services they count on every day, they also endanger the communities where they reside by severing a communications link to emergency services we all depend on in times of crisis. We will not tolerate these deliberate and malicious acts against our customers and our communications network.”

The thefts have occurred around the cities of Hesperia and Victorville in San Bernardino County, as well as Baldwin Park in Los Angeles County, and the community of Thermal in Riverside County. Verizon is offering up to $10,000 to anyone with information leading to the arrest and prosecution of these copper bandits. You can contact Verizon Security at 1-800-997-3287; or Deputy R. Oakleaf with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department at 760-248-7655.


Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. $10k? Wow, Verizon must be SERIOUS!!!

    How is this even worthy of an article? A $10k reward is a pathetic non-story!

    1. Wow. Not everyone is a baller, dude. You could buy a LOT of Android devices for $10K.

      1. Thought there wireless network ran fiber?

        1. After reading that I wanted to call Verizon and say how can anyone steal copper from a wireless network and sound like I was really serious. Hehehe

        2. Only in certain areas.

      2. $10k is also like the standard major assault type crime reward. Massive like serial killers rarely crack $100k reward, so I’d argue that’s relatively sizable.

      3. The recycling facilities in my area will only accept certain items & I believe limits on quantities/visits within a certain time frame.
        Some of this is mandated by local laws,some by common sense of the recyclers.
        These actions were taken to combat this same problem,copper theft,not only from telecoms,but,A/C units,both residential & commercial,power lines (serious crackheads only need apply),you get the picture…….

        Seems to have helped,not much is heard on the local news regarding these thefts anymore.Take the profit out of it & the problem will disappear.

    2. About as serious as they are about updating their shitty network to justify their prices. I think we know it was a combination of current and former subscribers lol.

    3. Reminds me of the type of sh*t that would make the news in South Africa a few years ago when I still lived there. Theft of copper cables, parts of railroads etc. happened quite often. When that starts happening you KNOW a country’s going downhill.

  2. Maybe it was ATT, Tmobile or Sprint

  3. This is the most verizon has ever offered their customers for anything ??

  4. The copper bandits strike again!

    – cue theme music

  5. Time to bring in Scooby Doobie Doo!

  6. How’s about changing laws to say that any tampering of a public utility be it electrical, water or communication network that it used to provide central services to the general public is considered an act of terrorism and will be prosecuted accordingly. ? then take your chances. Imagine if you steal the street lighting copper wiring and some poor soul loses a life due to poor lighting conditions because of that theft or someone is unable to reach emergency services because of copper being stolen. These services are integral to society and damage to them should be considered an act of terrorism.

    1. It already is a federal crime to tamper with telecom facilities in any way…think terrorism would be taking it a little far unless the reasoning was to cause actual terror and not money…

    2. Too many things are already being labeled as terrorism, we don’t need to add more.

    3. A few months 500 feet of copper cable went missing from the NYC subway. I guess those idiots didn’t stop to think how many people they would be putting in danger by stealing the copper cable.

    4. Yeah, just keep watering down the word “terrorism” until it’s just synonymous with “crime”.

  7. Just think, this will speed their roll out of critical fiber infrastructure to these areas! I guarantee all that stollen copper and the work to rectify it has cost Verizon much more than 10 times that $10K they are offering.

  8. I’d like to know the diameter of that copper. It’s generally about $4 a pound.

  9. There goes Tmobile with their UnCarrier Campaign again…I aint mad though haha

  10. Alright, looked up some copper details, these guys have made off with a lot of money. Using a smaller size copper wire than what would generally be used I’ve come up with the following. 16,000 feet of wire. There is about 402lbs of copper per 100 feet. So your looking at roughly 64, 000lbs of copper. Take that at a median price of 1.50 per lb of scrap copper ( they probably made more than that to be honest but I’m low balling) your looking at almost 100k in 6months. Not to mention Verizon has to rebuy the copper and pay to have it reinstalled.

    1. Lol, I’m sure VZ is wiping their tears with their benjamins.

  11. I live in Baldwin park. That’s crazy. Lol.

    1. Grew up there as a kid. Moved to Diamond Bar when I was in 2nd grade.

  12. I reside in tha 909!! Whoever stole that copper wire..give me some..currently working on my time machine!!

  13. So they are wanting someone to cop to the copper caper?
    Uh oh, I smell a rate hike coming.

  14. Maybe someone is trying to force them to upgrade their network infrastructure?

  15. I love how 99% of the comments are people laughing at Verizon, while the other 1% are replies to those comments. =.P

  16. Seriously though these criminals should be caught and punished, I suggest forcing them to never be allowed any intranet connection above 64kbps. Also stealing copper has caused people to die a few months ago someone stole the phone line to a fire department so they couldn’t respond to Calls.

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