US housing repossessions increase copper theft

Wednesday, 30 July, 2008


According to a recent report in The Boston Globe, the combination of increased copper prices and record housing foreclosures in the US state of Massachusetts has resulted in an ‘epidemic’ of house thefts.

The price of scrap copper has quadrupled over the past decade, tempting thieves to plunder empty houses.

One real estate agent who handles foreclosures was reported as saying: “I don’t even put for sale signs up anymore. It’s not worth it … don’t put up anything that makes [the house] look empty. I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking of leaving copper on the front porch with a sign that says: ‘Just take it. Please don't break into the house.’”

The article reported that thieves punch holes in walls and rip up floors to find the metal, usually used for plumbing and electrical wiring.

The thefts are also weighing down a struggling real estate market by adding to the number of properties that aren't selling. One agent had a buyer lined up for one home until it was burgled. The thieves stole a few hundreds dollars' worth of copper, but caused damage estimated at $15,000.

 

Related News

UK tech could defend against national power blackouts

A team of scientists at the University of Birmingham in the UK have developed a technology that...

Risk of battery-powered devices near electrical equipment

Failure to maintain battery-powered devices such as energy monitoring systems, time clocks or...

Device generates electricity from the coldness of the universe

An international team of scientists has demonstrated that a measurable amount of electricity can...


  • All content Copyright © 2019 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd