Metal Theft Claims Continue to Decline

May 8, 2014

There is evidence that the national problem of metal theft might be declining, according to a new report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The report reviews metal theft insurance claims from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2013.

In 2011, a total of 14,676 metal theft claims were processed. The number dropped to 13,603 in 2012 and decreased again in 2013 to 10,807—a decline of over 26 percent from 2011. During this period, 41,138 insurance claims for the theft of copper, bronze, brass or aluminum were handled—39,976 of them (97 percent) for copper alone. When the number of metal theft claims per month and monthly average copper prices are compared, the number of claims filed is found to have a statistically-significant correlation with the price of copper.

Ohio ranked first of all the states generating 4,144 metal theft claims. It was followed by Texas (2,827), California (2,489), Pennsylvania (2,345) and Georgia (2,067).

The top-five Core Based Statistical Areas generating the most metal theft claims were New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (1,725); Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (1,386); Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (1,200), Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA (1,198) and Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington, TX (948).

Public awareness often drives necessary legislative activity, which enables law enforcement to better perform its functions. In 2012, Ohio passed legislation which requires scrap metal dealers to obtain identification from scrap metal sellers and prohibits cash payments to scrap metal sellers. Last month, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed a similar bill into law as did Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. While metal thefts continue, the downward trend shown in the latest report may be attributed, in part at least, to these cumulative efforts.

Source: NICB

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