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Bell intends to “vigorously” prosecute copper thief and his co-conspirators

April 12, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

April 12, 2023 – Bell has filed a lawsuit against Sylvain F., who was arrested by police in connection with the theft of copper wire from Bell Canada.

“The lawsuit is another step we are taking to protect our critical infrastructure against recurring theft and vandalism,” said Nick Payant, vice-president, Operations Services and Core Network.

Reliable communications networks are essential for everyone to run their business, stay connected and connect to emergency services, said Payant.

Despite extra alarms, security, and support from local law enforcement, Payant says the company still saw over 170 incidents of vandalism in the last 15 months—largely in New Brunswick, Ontario and northern Quebec—resulting in over $3 million in damages to critical infrastructure and hundreds of hours of service interruption for customers.


“We need the government’s help in prioritizing increased fines and amendments to the criminal code to protect our critical infrastructure,” Payant insisted.

Bell says it intends to “vigorously prosecute this claim, and pursue future claims against individuals and scrap yards who engage in copper wire theft or trafficking”.

The telecom company says it is also pursuing all of Sylvain F.’s co-conspirators, including any individuals or scrap yard businesses who knowingly purchased the stolen copper.

Incidents of copper theft are on the rise, Bell adds; vandals are cutting down telecom cables from poles to steal the copper wire, then sell that copper for cash. Each incident takes—on average—10 to 12 hours to repair.

Bell is calling on provincial and federal governments to “take bold, timely action to increase fines and make amendments to the criminal code, reflecting the essential nature of this critical infrastructure on the security of this country”.

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