Metal Theft Follows In Irene's Wake

As Tropical Storm Irene has receded, thieves have followed in its wake, and they’re hungry for metal. Several Vermont towns have been hit by metal thieves seeking to take advantage of the disarray as people try to clean up and get their lives back together.

The Burlington Free Press reports that in Moretown, copper was looted from a restaurant owned by a local church. The copper from Juniper’s Fare Cafe was later recovered but it couldn’t be used because it was chopped into small pieces to make it easier to move. Sadly, this kind of damage isn’t covered by insurance.

The copper goes for about $2.50 a pound when sold as scrap.

In another case, a van was stolen and sold for scrap metal. And a grill and basketball hoop were stolen from one family’s backyard and sold as scrap.

Scrapyards can cut down on metal crime by requiring photo ID, but they also have to enforce it. One undercover unit in Texas found that a scrapyard they were investigating only required you show a photo ID but it didn’t have to match your face.

Looting adds misery for Vermont flood victims [burlingtonfreepress] (Thanks to c-side!)
The Great Copper Heist [Bloomberg]