For the longest time, scrap metal thieves have been disrupting the lives and operations of home-owners and businesses in New Zealand. Notwithstanding the deadly nature of the trade, desperate individuals continue to resort to copper theft to make instant cash.
However, offenders these days have more things to worry about than occupational hazards. Here are the obstacles and risks copper thieves have to contend with these days:
Meticulous Record Keeping
Law-abiding scrap metal buyers in Auckland (and other parts of the country) know that copper is subject to different a record-keeping procedure than other scrap metals. Licensed second-hand dealers have to accurately describe the item, verify the identity of the seller and store it for 14 days for police inspection. With more hoops to jump through, inexperienced copper thieves struggle to turn stolen scrap metal into cold cash.
Close Collaboration among the Authorities
Concerned citizens could easily notify the police of any suspicious activity, and victims could quickly report incidents of theft immediately. In fact, anyone can work with the Scrap Metal Recycling Association of New Zealand to intercept stolen metal items ASAP. The organisation works closely with the authorities to catch offenders and to keep copper from reaching the underground market.
Power and telecommunications companies, the usual victims of copper theft, have been ramping up their security. Since copper costs them a significant amount of money, they do their best to prevent the financial consequences of copper theft.
If thieves think that they could get rich by stealing copper, innocent individuals could take home a more massive bag of cash without risking electrocution. Many companies, like Powerco, have been offering bounties worth thousands of dollars to help find leads and solve cases of theft. These rewards are creating new enemies for offenders.
It’s safe to say that only the most desperate individuals would take the risks of stealing copper from electrical systems. However, with more challenges included in the equation, the additional dangers could help make a more considerable dent in copper theft statistics.