Metal thefts in U.S. increase 81 per cent
A recent report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows that metal theft in the United States has increased 81 per cent since 2008.
Metal theft, driven by rising prices for base metals, especially copper, has affected many industries in the last few years. Large stores of wiring in everything from cell phone towers to electrical stations have proven easy targets.
The report, which reviewed metal theft claims from Jan. 1, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2011, identified 25,083 insurance claims, up from 13,861 claims recorded in a 2006–2008 report. The report also shows metal thefts are increasing in severity. Earlier this year, for example, theft of copper wiring blacked out runway approach lights at an airport in Modesto, Calif.
Despite the increase, the NICB says, not all incidents generate an insurance claim, or even a police report, so the actual number of thefts may be higher.
Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to detecting and preventing insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness.