The high price of copper and other base metals has led to an increase of metal theft incidents across the country, and Ohio leads the nation for insurance claims resulting from the crime. 

Copper thefts continue to rise. Copper from air conditioning stolen from this church.

Insurance claims linked to metal theft across the country jumped to 25,083 between 2009 and 2011, up 81 percent from the three-year period between 2006 and 2008, according to a new report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The report showed insurance claims for metals thefts were up 81% from the last report covering 2006-2008.

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 Core Based Statistical Areas generating the most metal theft claims:

  •  Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, IL (963);
  • New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ (921);
  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA (823);
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington, TX (674); 
  • Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI (587).

Copper theft is the most common item for the crime, and thieves have stolen copper piping and wiring from churches, abandoned homes and buildings, construction sites, cellphone towers and other unguarded properties, as well as from manufacturing plants.

Anyone with information concerning metal theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or by visiting our Web site at Or, iPhone or iPad users can download the NICB Fraud Tips app to make it easy to quickly send a tip and get a response

One Northern California Company provides a high tech  service to help protect property.



Copper prices have tripled since 2008, and thefts are skyrocketing as measured by news reports.
Guest post by Mark J. Perry
When this line rises, so do thefts…

Paul Kedrosky reported yesterday that copper thefts are rising again, due to the all-time record high prices in recent months.  The chart above displays monthly copper prices back to 1980, and shows that copper prices have tripled from $1.40 per pound at the end of 2008 to recent highs this month approaching $4.50 per pound.  
According to a Google News search, there have been 545 news stories in just the last week containing the phrase “copper theft,” and that compares to 665 stories during the entire year of 2009 when copper prices were between $1.50-$3.00 per pound, and 1,750 stories last year as prices rose above $4 per pound by the end of the year.
Originally posted  Monday January 24, 2011: Carpe Diem