SOUTH BURLINGTON — FairPoint Communications is offering rewards to help find the people responsible for a series of copper thefts across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

The company says that in Vermont alone copper thefts have cost the company $20,000.

FairPoint Security Manager Marc Lussier says the thefts are a growing public safety concern that could cause a loss of service for people who need emergency services and there is also concern that an untrained person removing cable could be injured.

Copper thefts are on the rise across the country due to increasing prices for metals.

FairPoint is offering rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those individuals responsible for these thefts. The size of the reward depends on the severity of the crime.