Back Alley Bust

Posted by Rick Charney on June 4, 2020

Theft. Loitering. Vandalism. Retail centers contend with numerous security challenges. In this video, you’ll see another problematic situation.

In the overnight hours, one of our Stealth security operators observed a black Avalanche back up to a wall behind a Dallas shopping center. Two individuals exited the vehicle. One grabbed a tool from the truck and walked towards the wall. He appeared to cut something from the electrical meter. Our operator immediately contacted police.

Very quickly, the two suspects returned to the vehicle and drove away. They weren’t gone long, however, as they came back soon after. Moments later, police arrived on the scene. Officers questioned the suspects and placed one of them under arrest. The other individual was released.

Back Alley Crime

Because they are typically concealed by darkness, the back part of a shopping center can be a magnet for crime. Issues like illegal dumping, trespassing, vandalism, and back door break-ins are common. In the video, the thieves targeted the electric or gas meter. Electric meters contain components like copper that can be sold on the black market. Gas meters can also contain scrap metal that can easily be sold. Sometimes, criminals steal the entire meter. Why? According to, the stolen meter is moved to a new location so the electricity that is used there will be measured by the stolen meter. Then each month, when the utility company comes to read the meter, the criminal will replace the stolen meter with the original one. This serves two purposes:

  1. The technician validates it’s the correct meter
  2. The measurement will be inaccurate since the actual usage will be counted on the stolen meter

Experts estimate that roughly $6 billion of electricity is stolen in the US each year, per Distributed Energy. The article states, “It ranks as the third-most stolen item, after credit card data and automobiles.”

Help Safeguard Your Property

Each retail center is unique, with its own set of challenges. That’s why a customized security solution is the most-effective option. Stealth’s live video monitoring works in real time to help catch activity as it happens. Using advanced video analytics, trained security operators can respond immediately when something is happening. Our proactive solution can save up to 60% on security costs when compared to traditional security guards, while helping to deter crime and minimize liability and damage.

If you would like more information about our proactive security solutions, contact us.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Security Guards & Savings, Arrests, Video Monitoring, Copper Theft