Scrap metal theft is a fast growing crime, as thieves realise that they can make a quick profit from stealing nickel, aluminium, stainless steel, copper and scrap iron from building sites and businesses. They can then sell the metals to scrap metal dealers, who don’t ask questions and also resell the scrap metal for a profit.
Thieves have even been known to steal metal from flashings and downspouts and also to steel electrical wiring from buildings and construction sites. They might even steal the copper coils and pipes from your air conditioning units.
As a business owner, how can you protect your property from criminals who are trying to get rich by stealing your scrap metal?
Tips for Preventing Scrap Metal Theft
There is no way to completely prevent the risk of scrap metal theft, but there are ways that you can make your property less of a target. Thieves are opportunistic, so if they see an easy target they will strike but if your property is more risky to intrude upon they will think twice.
Here are some things that you can do to reduce the risk of scrap metal theft on your property:
· Put together a detailed list of all equipment and bulk metal on your site, along with photos for your insurance agent, to be used in the event of a theft.
· Install a wireless security system, such as those offered by our team of security experts. We have powered wireless cameras and motion sensors that are directly connected to our 24 hour security centre operated by a trained team of fast-response professionals. We even have very specific solutions for dealing with problems such as lead theft from Churches and other such historic buildings and you can read more about that here.
· Install signage that warns thieves that your property is protected by a security system and outlines the consequences if they are caught.
· If you can, keep your scrap metal within an enclosed and locked building. If it cannot be seen, it is less likely to be stolen.
· If you don’t have an enclosed structure in which to keep the metal, make sure that the area where it is kept is well lit to deter thieves.
· A security fence will also make it more difficult to access the property. The fence should be 7 feet tall, gates should have locks and barbed wire at the top can be used if it is allowed.
· Remove or trim any shrubbery outside the perimeter of the property, to make sure that thieves do not have a place to hide.
· You can even etch the name of your company into valuable metal parts, which will not only deter the thieves from stealing the parts but also serve as a tracking mechanism for catching the thieves who do try to steal and sell etched property.
With these tips, you can reduce your risk of metal theft and keep your workplace as secure as possible.