According to the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), since the committee's inception, Macon, Georgia, has experienced a dramatic drop in scrap metal thefts — with a peak high of 84 incidents falling to eight after almost a full year (December 2006 to November 2007).
ISRI also coordinates a partnership with the NCPC and published "Recommended Practices and Procedures for Minimizing the Risks of Purchasing Stolen Scrap Materials." Written directly for the institute's scrap-dealer members, this report explains effective techniques for combating this crime. Topics include outreach, identifying a seller, tracking a transaction — financially and with video — prohibited materials and training. This paper and additional resources can be found at www.isri.org.Engaging communication
Bringing this communication to the Internet-age, ISRI is developing a geographically based Web site to automatically create an alert to scrap yards within a 200-mile radius of the reported theft.
Recently held within the Walt Disney World Resort on September 23 to 24, the National Metal Theft Investigations Seminar covered "material theft as a global problem." Attendees included investigators, corporate security, utility companies, deputy sheriffs and other law enforcement officers. Topics ranged from the impact of metal theft, court rulings, ordinances, recyclers inspections and more.
As material theft can affect utilities, businesses and civilians alike, Baker suggests law enforcement initiate communication about material theft with the community.
He also advises that "officers communicate with residents, make them aware of the problem and instruct them on what to do if they encounter suspicious activity."
Editor's Note: ISRI's Theft Alert System can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and once available, the Web site can be found at www.scraptheftalert.com.