How to prevent scrap metal theft

An upsurge in the market price for aluminum and copper is driving an unusual crime wave in neighborhoods across America. Scrap metal thieves are stripping aluminum siding and gutters from houses and even copper coils from air conditioning units.

Thieves can get more than $100 for the coils they take from your air conditioner, but it can cost you thousands of dollars to fix the damage.

  • Secure the a/c unit with a padlock and chain so thieves can’t reach the valuable metal.
  • Add an alarm unit with sensors to your a/c unit or a video surveillance system.
  • Record your unit’s serial number in the case of theft – it won’t prevent the crime, but it could help solve it.
  • Install motion sensors on your outdoor lighting. This is an inexpensive way to deter burglars – when the lights come on, they will think someone is coming. Make sure your lights are pointed toward the ground – a spotlight into the sky won’t help anyone see what’s happening on the ground.
  • Lock your garage and sheds that contain tools and ladders that thieves can use to steal your stuff.
  • Keep plants around your gutters and downspouts trimmed. That way, passersby will be able to spot the thieves at work.
  • Scrap metal thieves are also yanking catalytic converters out of cars. Park your car in a garage or well-lit area.

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