New Law Going Into Effect Tomorrow Helps Police Stem Metal Thefts

Metal Thefts Can Cause Dangerous Phone and Electric Outages, Potential for Electrocution

MILWAUKEE, March 25, 2008 — AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) announced today that law enforcement

authorities in Wisconsin will have valuable new tools to combat metal theft starting tomorrow

when a new state law aimed at combating the growing problem goes into effect.

By requiring scrap metal dealers to keep records related to resale transactions, the law

is expected to deter metal thefts and make it easier for police to apprehend criminals.

“Wisconsin residents are put at risk by these thefts, which can cause phone service outages

that leave people without access to 911 emergency services,” AT&T Wisconsin President Scott

T. VanderSanden said. “The new law will help police catch thieves and makes it harder for

thieves to profit from such thefts.”

VanderSanden said the passage of the new law was the result of leadership by the bill’s

co-authors, Sen. Jeff Plale and Rep. Phil Montgomery, as well as Gov. Jim Doyle, who signed

the bill into law March 11. The bill passed both houses unanimously and goes into effect


The law, originally Senate Bill 473, establishes record-keeping requirements for metal

sales to scrap dealers. Scrap metal dealers must record a seller’s identification information and

descriptions of items being sold.

The bill, similar to laws passed in more than 30 other states, was backed by many

Wisconsin associations and companies in the telephone, electric, brewing, rail, construction and

food industries as well as law enforcement officials.

Such thefts are on the rise nationally, particularly as the price of copper has increased

over the last several years.

Thefts in Wisconsin have included copper wire from power poles, electric substations,

construction sites, phone companies and of copper vases from cemeteries. Nationally, copper

thefts have caused power and 911 service outages in entire neighborhoods and knocked out

railroad signals. Repairs and replacement can cost millions of dollars. The theft of beer barrels

alone result in an estimated industrywide loss of up to $50 million a year.

VanderSanden said that AT&T Wisconsin has seen thefts of its copper in various parts

of the state, and some of the thefts have resulted in phone service outages.

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