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Copper Theft Continues to be a Problem in the United States

Posted by Blake Mitchell on Sep 12, 2018

Copper theft has been a problem for a long time and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. It’s a costly issue that has affected all types of commercial properties and schools across the United States in recent months.

The most recent case of copper theft occurred at an elementary school in Chicago, Illinois. In a span of two weeks, copper wiring was taken twice. As a result, classes had to be cancelled. Another thief in Pennsylvania is accused of stealing $7,000 worth of copper and causing damage in a string of robberies. In each of the cases, copper, brass and aluminum parts were taken from outdoor commercial transformers and electronic devices located in fenced-off areas. The actual value of the stolen metal was more than $2,000 but the damages exceeded $5,000. According to the news report, the suspect sold the copper and stolen parts to a recycling and salvage yard.

As you can see, property damage from copper theft can often be costlier than the value of the stolen metal. It can also lead to a string of other problems. For example, stolen wiring can shut down a place of business, which can result in loss of customers, as well as revenue.

On commercial properties, copper thieves often strike HVAC units which are typically found on the roof. These hard-to-reach spots can be difficult for some security solutions, like on-site guards, to be able to provide adequate protection. A more effective commercial security solution is live remote video surveillance, which combines technology with human intelligence. Trained security operators watch commercial properties via cameras that are equipped with video analytics. The analytics can automatically detect specific events, such as a person approaching a fence or climbing on the roof, then alert the operator who can verify the activity and take appropriate action. This advanced technology allows trained experts to watch every camera on your property at the same time, from vantage points that aren’t easily accessible to on-site guards.

Copper theft is still an ongoing problem across North America. These metals can be found in HVAC systems which are left exposed and vulnerable, making them prime targets for thieves. If you would like to know how live video surveillance can help deter this criminal activity, contact us here.