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

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