Verizon is offering a $50,000 reward in hopes of finding those stealing copper cable in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Verizon spokesman Lee Gierczynski said the thieves are "very brazen" and are stealing the cable using saws and bolt cutters. The thefts, 13 so far this year in rural Washington and Lawrence counties, each cut service to dozens or hundreds of phone and internet customers until the wiring can be replaced.
The latest theft was on Friday, when the thieves stole about 3,000 feet of cable.
Gierczynski said it's a "serious problem" when customers who need emergency help pick up their phones and can't get a dial tone.