VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Starting Monday, it’s about to get tougher for people stealing metal around BC.

Last year, there were 380 phone and Internet service outages for Telus as a result of this criminal act.

The company’s Shawn Hall says the new laws mean people selling scrap metal have to present valid identification, and dealers need to keep records of who they have bought metal from.

Those details will then be shared with police and if records aren’t kept, recyclers could face a fine up to $100,000.

“If they’re buying Telus cable, they know it’s stolen,” Hall says. “If they’re buying a Telus phone booth, they know it’s stolen.  These new rules will allow police and enforcement officials to fine them, and ultimately to shut them down if they repeatedly buy stolen material.”

“That’s going to make it more difficult for thieves to unload stolen metal, and if they can’t sell it somewhere, they’re not going to steal it in the first place.”

Hall says some cities already have local bylaws in place, but the province-wide requirements will stop criminals from moving to communities without bylaws in place.

Every time a Telus cable is cut, it costs about $50,000 to fix.