Metal Theft on the Rise
By Karen Blythe, ARM
Have you discovered copper wire, brass fittings, aluminum ladders, welding leads, or stainless steel items stolen from your jobsite? If so, you are not alone. Metal thefts are on the rise, due, in part, to the increased value of scrap metal. Clean copper wire can bring more than $3.00 per pound at a metal recycler. Just a few years ago, the same wire would have been 59 cents per pound.
Costs associated with theft eat away at your profits. In addition to the cost of replacement and reinstallation of the stolen items, there are also costs associated with production delays. If the stolen items are even covered by your insurance, their dollar value may not meet your deductible. When the value of the stolen items is just over the amount of your deductible, are you willing to file a claim with your insurance company and risk increased premiums, or even, in some cases, cancellation?
Theft prevention is profit protection. There is no single solution to the theft problem but there are several prevention strategies you can implement to make your jobsite less vulnerable to thieves. It is important to send a very clear message that it is not easy to steal from you and if you do steal, you are likely to get caught. Let everyone know, especially local law enforcement, that you will assist in every way possible in the prosecution of anyone caught stealing from you.
The following are steps you can take to help prevent these costly thefts.
Karen Blythe, ARM is the Executive Director of the Construction Industry Crime Prevention Program of the Pacific Northwest (CICP). CICP is a network of contractors, law enforcement, trade associations, insurance companies and vendors who work together to fight construction theft and vandalism. For more information she invites you to call 503.618.8871 or visit the www.cicpp.com.