Strange Things People Steal

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The aftermath of the world financial crisis has left some people thinking outside the box to get by. Despite the effort and penalty, a lot of these items don’t yield much in resale value, yet still remain widely stolen items.


Copper backgrounds

Bucking the trend, stolen copper is valuable as scrap because the metal is used for so many items—from fiber optics to plumbing to anything electrical.

“Copper prices have leveled since the recession, but they’re still high enough to have people steal it,” said Michael Gurka, managing director of Spectrum Asset Management, a Chicago investment firm.

Manhole Covers


If history has shown us anything, it’s that thieves don’t mind being in a business with razor-thin profit margins. Manhole covers don’t fetch much on the black market, but it didn’t deter one criminal group in New York USA. More than 30 were stolen in one season to the dismay of maintenance workers and midnight strollers alike.

Fire Hydrant Caps


Hydrants are usually seen in picturesque scenes of hot days and water fights, but today the dark world of hydrant cap theft is being exposed. In California USA, more than 100 were stolen at a cost of $100 each to replace, so that was $10K no one planned on having to spend.



These thieves in Pennsylvania and New York left standing room only crowds in its wake. Possibly just a rival school prank, these thieves have capitalized on the apparent new target in metal thievery.



Thieves in the Czech Republic made off with an entire 10-ton bridge. Using forged paperwork, the crew convinced rail officials that the bridge was supposed to come down to make way for a new cycling route. If this crew could make a bridge disappear, it’s scary to think what they could achieve if they really applied themselves.

At Shanghai Metal Corporation we also realize the importance of these metals and manufacture value added copper products. As an ISO 14001 (International Quality Management System) Company and recipient of the “Star Enterprise Award,” Shanghai Metal Corporation prides itself on exceeding international standards of quality and reliability. We guarantee the best prices, quality support, and fast delivery. To find out more, please visit our Tumblr, WordPress, LinkedIn , Twitter , Facebook  and Instagram. Or you could try our new mobile app by scanning our QR code. Moreover, we sell directly from Alibaba , EC21 and Tradekey.

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Sources: News Discovery, CNBC.

Siobhan R.// SMC Editor



American Copper Theft Continues to Create Trouble for Cities Across the Nation

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.

    The Bonneville Power Administration, an American federal agency responsible for the Pacific Northwest region, is using a new weapon against thieves after a dozen break in occurred in a six month span resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in damages.
    The Bonneville Power Administration, an American federal agency responsible for the Pacific Northwest region, is using a new weapon against thieves after a dozen break in occurred in a six month span resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in damages.
  • 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, News Channel Five, The Associated Press, Electric Co-op Today

Kristie K.//SMC Editor