7 Tips to Protect Your Company From Scrap Metal Theft

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    Scrap metal has some resale value for thieves, so businesses should take some steps to secure any materials they keep on their properties

    scrap metal theft

    Constructions sites and yards often leave scrap metal sitting around for weeks at a time. It might seem harmless, but if a thief catches wind that you’ve left this material unprotected, there’s a good chance it’ll go missing. 

    You might not think of scrap metal as a valuable commodity, but the reality is that you can resell copper for $2-4 per pound, and materials like brass and aluminum are also in demand. As a result, if you have large amounts of scrap metal around the job site, you could be targeted by individuals looking to make a quick buck.

    Scrap metal yards are a common target because thieves can guarantee valuable items will be present, and employees often sort the metal by material. As a result, thieves don’t even have to search around for the metal that will offer the best return. 

    Whether you’re operating a scrap yard or you run multiple construction sites that use valuable materials, you’ll want to put some provisions in place to keep these commodities safe. 

    Here’s a look at seven tips you can use to protect your business from scrap metal theft.

    1. Invest in license plate recognition technology

    Scrap metal has some value, but it isn’t like gold, where a couple of small pieces allow the holder to profit. When dealing with metal, thieves will need 100+ pounds to make any money, and even more if multiple people are in on the job. 

    As a result, it’s nearly impossible to steal enough scrap metal to turn a decent profit without a vehicle, which is where license plate recognition technology comes into play. 

    Installing a video surveillance system that automatically scans the license plates of any vehicle that enters your yard makes it far easier to identify the thief. It can also act as a deterrent if these individuals know it’s in place.

    2. Install a fence

    Most scrap yards have fences around the property’s perimeter, making it challenging to get a vehicle close enough to the scrap piles to steal anything of value. 

    However, many temporary constructions sites don’t have this layer of protection in place, which could leave valuable materials out in the open. 

    Installing a temporary yet sturdy fence around your construction site can make life more difficult for thieves looking to escape with scrap metal. Even if it’s possible to climb over it, getting a vehicle in is challenging when there’s a fence involved, making it likely criminals will look elsewhere.

    3. Upgrade your lighting

    The better the lighting in your scrap yard or construction site, the less attractive it becomes for thieves. These individuals rely on the night to make them less detectable. 

    Installing LED or other upgraded lighting fixtures around the yard ensures it’s always well-lit, leaving criminals with less cover. This lighting also makes it easier for any security personnel you hire to see what’s going on around the job site and can even make it possible for passersby to notice and report a theft taking place at night.

    4. Watch your employees

    How many people know you’re keeping scrap metal on your job site?

    Of course, everyone understands that a metal scrap yard is full of scrap metal. Still, people might not realize that a construction company has copper or aluminum sitting at a particular site. 

    If you notice some of these materials going missing, there’s a chance it’s an inside job and that an employee has, at the very least, tipped someone off about the presence of this metal.

    Keeping an eye on your employees, including any individuals who appear overly concerned about the presence of metal on the job site or who appear to check on it continually, could lead you to the source of the theft. 

    5. Use loudspeakers

    Stealing scrap metal isn’t a quick job because it involves getting a truck into the compound, loading it up, and getting it out of there before the police arrive. Thieves know this, so it might be possible to scare intruders off using a loudspeaker system. 

    Installing some speakers around your job site or scrap yard allows you or your security team to communicate with these thieves, warning them that the police are on the way. This type of deterrent might be enough to rattle these individuals to the point where they leave without getting away with any of your scrap metal.

    6. Place surveillance cameras

    One of the best steps you can take when protecting your scrap metal is installing surveillance cameras. These cameras allow for continuous monitoring of your construction sites or scrap yards at night, so you can see what’s going missing. 

    These cameras also act as a deterrent and provide evidence that a theft has occurred, making them extremely valuable tools for your business. 

    Surveillance cameras combined with bright lights and study fences are sure to make your company one of the least desirable targets thieves will come across.

    7. Hire a mobile security team

    You can also take your video surveillance to the next level by combining it with a mobile security team. A security guard will watch your video feed throughout the night and intervene if something out of the ordinary occurs. 

    Having someone monitoring your video surveillance feeds when your construction site is most vulnerable is an invaluable resource for business owners and worth exploring if scrap metal theft is becoming an issue for you.

    Get the security assistance you need

    There’s no catch-all to scrap metal theft because every site is different. A scrap metal yard might need a different solution than would a temporary construction site because of the amount of materials present and the size of the yard.

    Mobile Video Guard offers custom video surveillance solutions to businesses of all sizes. We’ll assist by installing cameras in strategic locations and having our mobile team monitor the feeds to prevent scrap metal and other thefts. Contact Mobile Video Guard today to receive your free quote.

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