As the United States slowly creeps out of the recession caused by the 2008 housing crisis, construction of new buildings has still been lagging. Bloomberg reports that less construction along with reduced consumer spending and industry activity has led to less demolition, which means a shortage of scrap, or secondhand, building materials. With low levels of copper scrap in the global marketplace, thieves are taking it upon themselves as an opportunity to earn some extra cash. Little do they know that the amount of copper they are trying doesn’t even come close to the thousands of dollars in damages they are doing to communities coast to coast.
- In Danville, Virginia, two thieves were trying to steal what would amount to $9 or $10 worth of copper by cutting a pipeline at a nearby oil distribution facility. The missing pipeline led to an estimated 2,000 gallon natural gas leak. In the same city a few years prior, four deaths occurred when people were trying to steal less than $20 worth of copper.
- Last week in St. Louis, Missouri, tenants in a downtown apartment complex were without water for more than 48 hours after thieves stole copper pipes from the building. Residents complained about unbearable living conditions including mold growth, overflowing trash, and broken elevators. There is known to be handicapped residents living in the apartment unable to leave without operating elevators.
- The biggest copper heist in Utah history occurred last year when thieves managed to steal more than six miles worth of wire off a Salt Lake City highway. The criminals disgusted themselves as construction workers. The missing copper led to a power outages along a mile of the highway and cost the city nearly $60,000 to replace the stolen materials.
Shanghai Metal Corporation does not take part in scrap trade because of the ethical dilemmas that could arise, such as dealing with stolen goods. We are committed to being fully transparent to our consumers and are here to help serve our clients in a socially responsible manner. For more information on SMC’s social responsibility, be sure to check out our website here. Be sure to join the conversation in our LinkedIn group, Twitter, and Facebook.
Sources: WSET-TV: The Heart of Virginia, KSDK.com News Channel Five, The Associated Press, Electric Co-op Today
Kristie K.//SMC Editor