Updated: Jan 28, 2013 5:28 PM
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — Two bills being introduced into the legislature have to do with a rise in metal theft.
There's a house and senate version of the bill.
They would both increase the penalty for metal theft to a third degree felony when thieves steal it from a telecommunications or utility company or when the theft results in an outage.
Officials say last year, upwards of 200 businesses experienced outages and damages because of copper theft.
“Century Link, my company, experienced over 100 outages affecting businesses, access to emergency 911, cell towers, and credit card transactions,” State Legislative Affairs Director Leo Baca said.
Thieves then turn the metal over to metal recyclers who give them just a fraction of what the item is actually worth.
Metal recyclers who knowingly take in stolen items could also face charges.
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Secretary of State:
Dianna J. Durán
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