It's caused phone outages for hundreds at a time and been blamed for several deaths over the last couple of years. Copper theft is a big problem here in Eastern Kentucky, but some scrap yards are fighting back.
If it's metal, you can probably sell it. At Beckner Metal Recycling in Clay County, they buy just about every metal you can imagine, including copper, but don't expect no questions asked if you bring in anything that even has the possibility of being stolen. Expect to leave a copy of your ID and plenty of other info. Staff now makes all of their records open to police and they are committed to help police catch thieves.
"If any way we can help, we will. We will help," said William Hubbard with Beckner Metal Recycling.
If you bring copper to Beckner Recycling that's yours, you'll probably get paid for it, but if you bring them copper that's stolen, you'll probably end up behind bars. In fact, staff here recently helped police do just that just as they were reporting a car stolen.
"They had reported one stolen and just as they were reporting it, it pulled on our scales and I went and talked to the secretary and she went and called the sheriff's department and they arrested the guy right here," Hubbard said.
Thieves have disabled phone service for hundreds by stealing copper wire. Windstream officials say they are laying new cable to replace the damaged lines. Service should be fully restored to Perry County customers tonight.
Officials at Kentucky Utilities say they are also taking the problem very seriously.