Recycling Center Owner Convicted for Scrap Metal Theft

October 12 2017
metal theft

Metal theft is a problem at shopping centers, office spaces, residential properties, and other commercial sites. Thieves rip out copper wiring and metal components from HVAC units and other machines and take them to recycling centers for easy cash. More often than not, the damage caused to the equipment exceeds the value of the stolen scrap metal.

Over a three-year span, a recycling center owner took over 74,000 pounds of stolen telecommunication wires from three different states. The value of the stolen copper and nickel wiring was $315,000 USD. Local authorities also found 15 boxes of stolen scrap metal at the recycling center. The victimized scrap metal businesses received restitution. The recycling center owner was indicted for 202 counts of scrap metal theft.

The scrap metal recycling center owner entered a Kennedy plea. He could have faced up to 10 years in prison. The owner was forced to give up his West Virginia business license and the ability to apply for one in the future. Local authorities described this as an organized criminal enterprise.

The assistant prosecutor at the metal theft trial said this was the largest stolen property operation in the area. He predicted the arrest and sentencing of the recycling center owner, along with the subsequent closing of his recycling center, should decrease the amount of scrap metal theft in the area.

This recycling center is not a client of UCIT Online Security.

Scrap metal theft is a common problem across North America. It has been especially bad in British Columbia. Surrey spent almost $3 million one year replacing stolen copper wiring. That is two times more than what the city spent the year before. The price of copper scrap metal is about $3 per pound.

In Kansas, scrap metal theft led to power outages across one city. The damages were estimated at $150,000 USD. The minimum repair cost from metal theft was about $3,000 USD.

In one year, the amount of copper that is successfully stolen and redeemed is more than $1 billion USD.

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Please call toll-free (866) 756-7847 or contact UCIT today for more information to protect your outdoor assets. Visit the UCIT web site to see real videos of criminals being arrested at construction sites, multifamily apartments, shopping centers, office buildings, warehouses, auto dealerships, and other commercial real estate properties.