Precious Metals

There is currently a rise in thefts of homes and buildings. The thieves, however, aren’t looking at your new flat screen or jewelry box. In some cases, they don’t even have to break into your home at all…

At the beginning of the year, two new laws have been created, adding unto the current Recyclable Metal Purchase Registration law. These laws have been enacted due to the rise on metal theft from properties, such as copper gutter systems, pipes, wiring and duct work. Many of which have occurred in vacant homes, although theft of some copper gutter systems have occurred even when the property is occupied, regardless of whether the home is for sale or not as these typically occur in the middle of the night.

I recently spoke with an individual who recently caught several individuals trying to pull out a copper down spout from their building. The down spout was not taken, but rather was left barely hanging, twisted and no longer functioning properly adding an unnecessary repair expense for residents. The thieves had no tools on them except for a screwdriver, and were planning on “folding” the gutter in half and tossing it in the back of their truck.

Theft of such materials sometimes takes no specialized knowledge as there is no consideration of potential damage to premises, hence brute force is sometimes all that matters in some instances. Because of this, metal theft is becoming an attractive alternative for thieves, without the added risk alternatives have.

As of this past Jan 1, HB 3825 will require that all purchases of recycle metals be recorded, rather than only those valued at more than $100.  Additionally, dealers will also be required to keep a photograph and/or video of the seller and materials presented on record. There are restricted purchases and limitations on dealers purchasing HVAC recyclable metal and copper.

Homeowners, associations and property managers should take steps to secure premises to deter possible theft.

Sherwin L. Sucaldito, REALTOR®, GREEN, ABR, CRPM
The Institute of Luxury Home Marketing
Green REsource Council, GREEN
Accredited Buyer’s Representative , ABR
Certified Residential Property Manager, CRPM
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