Guard Your Metal
As long as I have been selling real estate, I never, until late last year, heard of people stealing metal to sell to the recyclers. I have had air conditioners stolen and wiring and copper pipes stripped from homes I was selling.
Late last year I was marketing a foreclosed property on 5 acres with a huge, way bigger than the house, metal outbuilding. One day the man who had the property under contract called in a panic because he bought the property because of the huge building and demanded to know why was it being torn down?
We contacted the police who went over there and arrested three men who were attempting to dismantle the entire building to sell the metal to scrap metal dealers.
I saw this article about copper and it reminded me about that transaction and that I should warn homeowners about this new trend in crime. Remember to guard your metal.
Copper Is Like Gold These Days
With copper at more than $4 per pound, thanks to demand in Asia, home owners should guard the metal like it was gold.
"You would never leave gold sitting out in the yard," says OneBeacon Insurance Group executive Charlie Sidoti, who estimates a 300 percent increase in claims of copper theft in the past 18 months.
Homes sitting empty are easy targets. Sidoti recommends installing fences, motion-detector lights and security cameras to discourage thieves from ripping out air conditioner coils, plumbing, rain gutters, sprinklers and bronze lawn ornaments.
Meanwhile, 35 states have pending or signed legislation requiring people selling metal to show identification to scrap dealers.
Source: Time Rebecca Winters Keegan (06/23/2008)
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