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The Copper Thieves

More than a few child care operators have arrived at their facilities to find thieves have rendered their heat and air conditioners useless by stealing the copper parts from these devices. Others have had to have their premises rewired after thieves have stolen cables and wiring, sometimes destroying entire walls in the process.

As the price of copper continues to rise, these thefts are becoming more common. Many local police departments have had to create special units specifically to handle this type of crime. Copper theft has now reached over $1 billion annually.

Most of these burglaries occur at night during normal sleeping hours. If your facility has its air conditioners on a side of the building that is not easily visible from the street or vehicles can easily pull up alongside your building, you are more susceptible to theft.

Sadly, many thefts occur or are set up by workers who have recently installed or serviced this type of equipment. Their " day job" allows them to easily case your premises and determine if there are any vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

The cost of repairs once the copper has been stripped far exceeds the cost of the copper itself. Frequently, the machinery can not be repaired and has to be replaced.

The obvious question is what can you do to prevent such a loss?

Surveillance cameras are an excellent investment and something thieves try to avoid. Modern camera systems offer many benefits and features and the cost of this equipment has continually become more affordable.

Likewise, alarms that sound when gates are breached or are set to be motion-activated during specific hours are also excellent deterrents. These should be set up on your grounds, at obvious entry points and indoors. Alarms will either scare the thieves off or decrease the time it takes for police to arrive. This can either prevent or limit the damage the thieves can cause.

The cost of replacing heating, air conditioners, wiring and walls far exceeds the costs of surveillance cameras and alarms.

All too often victims of these crimes believe that it can't happen again and don't install security systems. The truth is that often thieves return to the same building again if they notice it is still any easy target.
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