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Metal theft is the stealing of scrap metals

How to Stop Metal Theft

Metal theft is the stealing of scrap metals such as: copper, aluminum, nickel, stainless steel and scrap iron, which are usually an essential element to a finished product.

For quick financial gain, scrap metal is usually obtained from various articles such as bicycles, vehicles, and playground equipment. Common favorite beleaguered sites are vacant houses, scrap dealer businesses and construction sites. Metal thieves have also been known to steal from railway sites, power plant sites, and well-lit sites like baseball and soccer fields. Sadly, thieves have even targeted metal from historic statues and the roof fixtures of churches and cemeteries.

Metal thieves mark areas that usually have a high amount of valuable metal. Places with plumbing fixtures or a high amount of copper wiring on light fixtures are potential victims to this growing problem. When the market crashed in 2008, there was an abundance of foreclosed houses and abandoned construction sites, which may have helped the recent rise in scrap metal theft. Metal theft has become a rising problem in the country, especially after the recession.

Cities face huge economic consequences due to metal theft. According to the Center for Problem- Oriented Policing “the cost of repairing damaged transformers or substations can run anywhere from $500,000 to $11 million”.

This crime is motived by the draw to the fast fix of cash. Drug users and organized thieves are prime motivators for metal theft.  However, the damage these thieves cause cost the cities more than the value of the metal they steal.  Organizations and government agencies should be seeking new ways to stop scrap metal theft.

Since the metal is less valuable than the fixtures or articles that contain the metal, deterrence is the most logical cost saving answer.  Stopping the crime before it happens.  Standard video surveillance and lighting will not stop the perpetrators.  Only specialized vandal resistance deterrent cameras can help stop the needless repairs metal theft causes.

 

Theft at construction site

Preventing Construction Site Theft

Not surprisingly, theft is the most common crime in the construction industry. According to a study done by The Chartered Institute of Building, over 92% of respondents in the construction industry were aware of theft occurring in their company. Most of these thefts are the result of a lack of security when the sites are closed. An unsecured site is an open invitation to criminals so all measures should be taken to secure the site. While permanent sites can be properly protected via fixed surveillance systems, temporary locations such as construction sites require a more flexible solution.

The cost of being the victim of construction theft runs deeper than just the value of the items stolen. You also have to factor in the delays in work, the cost to replace materials and supplies, and the cost of renting or replacing equipment and tools along with the increased insurance premiums you’ll have to pay going forward.

It is critical to implement a game plan to proactively prevent thefts at your construction site. A solid security plan should involve multiple layers of theft deterrents and measures. The harder it is to access your site, the less likely thieves will target it.

A short-term investment will turn out to be very cost-effective in the long run. The cost of securing your site will be quickly regained through reduction in thefts. The cost of security is part of the cost of doing business in the construction industry.