Insurance claims for metal theft increased 81 percent in the period from 2009 to 2011 when compared to 2006 to 2008, according to a new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
Rising prices for base metals, especially copper, have fueled the trend. Thieves have stripped sheets of metal from rooftops, stolen brass markers from cemeteries, ripped apart air conditioners for copper coils, and stripped homes and buildings of wiring and plumbing. They've even stolen metal and wiring from utility poles and traffic and railway signals.
The bureau's report identified 25,083 insurance claims for metal theft from 2009 to 2011, compared to 13,861 identified from the 2006 to 2008 report.
The top five states generating the most metal theft claims:
- Ohio (2,398)
- Texas (2,023)
- Georgia (1,481)
- California (1,348)
- Illinois (1,284)
The top-five metropolitan areas:
- Chicago-Naperville-Joliet (963)
- New York-northern New Jersey-Long Island (921)
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, (823)
- Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington, (674)
- Detroit-Warren-Livonia (587)