Copper Theft

Prevent Copper Theft and Vandals Raiding Foreclosures or Vacant Properties

Vandals and copper thieves, magnetized to isolated or vacant buildings, plague foreclosed homes and vacant properties. Inflicting damages as they force their way in, they gain entry and carry out illegal activities, destroying anything they find. They leave graffiti, broken walls and flooded floors, buildings stripped of copper piping and wiring, glass breakage, defaced and dismantled appliances. Thieves robbing the copper from A/C units leave holes in roofs and buildings exposed to more damage by the elements, and vulnerable to trespassers, squatters and more nuisance crime activity.

Further, copper theft and the related criminal activity can become more dangerously hazardous. Live hot wires left exposed can electrocute unsuspecting victims who happen upon the scene. Natural gas leaks may produce explosions that destroy surrounding property and take lives.


Cost is only one of the factors. When vandalism strikes, the cost to replace the copper and expense of repairs usually far outweighs the actual monetary value thieves get for their loot. But lives can never be replaced. Assess your strategies for crime deterrence. Keeping ahead of criminals before they ever gain a foothold gives you the best advantage against crime.

Water Tower

Proactively Prevent Vandalism & Trespassing at Water Reservoirs

Water storage tanks and reservoirs continue to be targets of vandalism and a source officials monitor closely due to concerns of contamination and even terrorist attacks.

Vandals and trespassers may contaminate the local water supply and in some cases cause loss of the water supply. Several incidents of vandalism at water reservoirs over the past few years have resulted in several million gallons of water lost in each case, representing many months of clean water supply for the community.

In California’s drought, where the water supply is in precious demand, the loss is especially great.  In May of 2015, vandals struck the water supply on the Alameda Creek in Fremont, California. The damage inflicted to the inflatable dam on the creek resulted in 50 million gallons of clean water lost into the San Francisco Bay. The “No Trespassing” signs posted near Alameda Dam was not enough to keep out vandals. Robert Shaver, General Manager for the Alameda County Water District stated “the people that conducted this act definitely had malicious intent.”

Contaminated water causes illness and disease. Water supply disruptions affect factories, hospitals, schools, businesses and homes. When a community must go without its water supply, drinking water is not available and hygiene suffers, fire hazards increase as fire suppression sprinkler systems are down,  and water-cooled medical gas and suction compressors at hospitals (safety issue for patients on ventilation) are affected. Depending on the type or extent of the vandalism, unexpected flooding can occur, costing hundreds of lives.

By taking preventive actions and putting strong protections and maintenance procedures in place, you can help to ward off the hazards of vandalism and trespassers. Put fencing around the facility, locks on access manholes, ensure the roof is watertight, and cover vents with screens that keep out birds, insects, rodents and other undesirable elements. Water storage facilities and infrastructure must be protected and maintained properly, with regular inspections to maintain the integrity of the water’s safety.

Illegally Dumping tires

Illegal Dumping Hazards and Penalties

Offenders engaged in the crime of illegal dumping may or may not be aware of the extent of the criminal element involved in their conduct.

Illegal dumping offenders may look for a quick, convenient way to dispose of trash or waste without investigating or taking steps for proper disposal. Illegally dumped waste include batteries, paint, pesticides or other chemicals and substances that pose hazards to the environment, wildlife habitat, soil erosion and water runoff that contaminates drinking water. Illegal dumping is an attempt to circumvent a trash disposal processing facility and its fees, and under the cover of darkness deposit waste on a freeway exit, a roadside, near a waterway or on abandoned property. These sites become breeding grounds for more illegal dumping, and may bear mosquito-carrying diseases, or cause spontaneous combustion or attract arson resulting in forest fires and soil erosion.

Firms illegally disposing of hazardous waste may endanger a community through this environmental pollution.  Since the health and wellbeing of so many people is affected through the harmful behavior of vandalism and illegal trash dumping, officials have instituted stiff and severe penalties to both commercial and individual offenders. Penalties take the form of fines, community service, incarceration, probation, restitution and remediation. In some regions, dumping near a public waterway constitutes a felony.

To address this issue, many cities have developed dedicated illegal dumping abatement divisions in which their primary responsibility is to address this crime by collecting evidence and tracking down offenders to prosecute. These types of dedicated programs have been highly successful in educating the public, creating awareness of the issue, reassuring the community that the problem is being addressed and increasing prosecution rates by successfully identifying these offenders.


Spotting Environmental Design Flaws: Do Your Public Parks Facilitate Crime?

Well designed public spaces in your park can attract hikers, joggers, sports enthusiasts, and nature lovers. But the risk of vandals or predatory offenders lurking in darkness, in hidden spaces within the park poses significant problems. It can threaten the safety or sense of safety that park users enjoy.

By taking a proactive approach and auditing your park using CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles, you determine the factors that increase the likelihood of nuisance crime, vandalism, and disorder. An audit is a good way to identify what features of the park need to be changed and what needs protecting.

Consider the following environmental keys for safety:

  • Maintain adequate lighting in areas of parks where nighttime activity is intended
  • Provide no lighting where activity is not intended or appropriate
  • Make sure lighting is free from interference by landscaping detail, overgrowth or lack of maintenance
  • Lighting should be clear and bright enough for someone to get a good look at another person 12 or 15 feet away
  • Nighttime activities appropriate to the park’s facilities should be clustered together and properly lit
  • Use shallow or high branching vegetation to skirt along paths, rather than full-bodied bushes or trees that can conceal an offender
  • Allow the play area to be visible from street view
  • Provide options for entry and exit at different spots throughout the park, including fenced play areas
  • Post the hours and closing time of the park, so it is clearly visible at the entries

By taking specific action toward vandalism deterrence and crime prevention, you remove the ease of operation for theft, graffiti and vandalism to take place. This also decreases the probability of other crimes of opportunity.