(WTOC) -Georgia Power has stepped up their efforts to stop criminals from profiting off of stolen copper that finds its way to salvage yards.
Copper theft is a multi-billion dollar industry, and thieves cost Georgia companies big bucks.
Two years ago, salvage yards paid about $1.25-per-pound for copper. As of Monday, that price is up to $3.73-per-pound.
Georgia Power's initiative is called proof positive copper. It's embedded with serial numbers and identification that proves who the rightful owner is.
"All the new copper conductor wire that's purchased by the company will probably have the coding embedded in it," said Henry Everson, an Engineering Supervisor at Georgia Power.
Thieves managed to steal nearly a half-million dollars in copper wire from Georgia Power last year.
Through the use of the new proof positive wire, the utility company has already caught several copper thieves this year.