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NICB Report Shows Metal Theft on the Rise

Posted by Amy Hite on Oct 3, 2012

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released a report at the beginning of the year that identified a staggering 81% increase in the number of metal theft insurance claims made since 2008. Driven by a rise in the cost of base metals, particularly copper, such thieves have been deemed a threat to the United States’ critical infrastructure and public safety.

Consequences of Copper Theft

Copper is used throughout cities in electrical wiring, and the theft of those wires is dangerous for both the public and the thieves themselves, who risk electrocution when cutting live wires. Traffic lights can be rendered inoperable, causing congestion and confusion on busy streets. Such problems can be costly and time-consuming for the city to repair. For example, earlier this year, a runway at a regional airport in California was blacked out when two men broke into its lighting tower and stole thousands of feet of copper wire.

The men were recently sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to pay $60,000 in damages. Overall, the cost of copper theft tends to be transferred to consumers and taxpayers through higher prices for goods and services or offset by reductions in services.

Protect Yourself

Protect yourself and your business by considering live video monitoring from Stealth Monitoring. Stealth’s proactive monitoring can not only help protect your business from copper wire theft, but it can also prevent other nefarious activities from occurring on your property. Stealth Monitoring also maintains close relationships with some local police departments, giving police the chance to stop the theft before the damage is done.

Rather than relying on traditional surveillance services that wait for alarms to go off and rely on delayed tapes, look into virtual surveillance services from Stealth Monitoring to minimize risk of major copper theft.