Copper scrap metal thefts are down for multiple years across the U.S. and right here in North Carolina. This is great news for all. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (www.nicb.com) has issued a detailed report with the data. The report makes it clear that with copper prices down, thieves no longer are attracted to this crime. The even better news is that this report ends with data from December 2014 and since then copper prices have continued to fall during 2015, so theft probably has fallen even further. See below for the overview of the report and the full report as well.
Metal Theft Claims Decreasing
NICB: Insured Metal Theft Claims Continue Downward Trend
2014 Claims Decrease 8 Percent from 2012 Levels
DES PLAINES, Ill., Sept. 9, 2015 — Continuing a recent trend, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports today that insured metal theft claims in 2014 were down 8 percent from 2012 levels.
In 2012, a total of 13,731 metal theft claims were processed. The number dropped to 13,632 in 2013 and decreased again in 2014 to 12,630—a decline of eight percent from 2012. During this three-year period, 39,993 insurance claims for the theft of copper, bronze, brass or aluminum were handled—38,985 of them (98 percent) involving copper. 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.
As in our previous report on metal theft, Ohio ranked first of all the states generating 4,438 metal theft claims. It was followed by Pennsylvania (2,770), Texas (2,379), New Jersey (2,192) and California (2,127).
The top-five Core Based Statistical Areas generating the most metal theft claims were New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (2,066); Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (1,581); Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (1,487); Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA (1,086) and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI (945).
You can review and download the full report here. Download the complete data set here or paste this into your browser: https://www.nicb.org/File%20Library/Public%20Affairs/ISO---States-Per-Year.xlsx.
While this report deals exclusively with submitted insurance claims, the ultimate impact of this activity falls, to some degree, on all consumers. Losses to businesses and government entities are shared with customers and taxpayers through higher costs for goods and services and/or reductions in services. Moreover, depending on the circumstances of the theft, these incidents may not generate an insurance claim, or even a police report. Consequently, comprehensive empirical data is elusive.
Individuals can do their part to prevent these kinds of thefts by simply being vigilant in their neighborhoods and business communities. If dwellings remain unoccupied for extended periods of time, they become magnets for unlawful behaviors. Wire stripping is among the activities that are routinely discovered in these locations. Your best protection is simply paying attention. Talk with your neighbors and ask one that you trust to keep watch on your home if you will be away. As always, you should report suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency. Unreported crime may breed more crime.
Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or submitting a form on our website. Or, download the NICB Fraud Tips app on your iPhone or Android device.
About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. The NICB is supported by more than 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $395 billion in insurance premiums in 2014, or more than 78 percent of the nation's property/casualty insurance. That includes more than 93 percent ($176 billion) of the nation's personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.