NICB says metal thefts have increased by 81 percent since 2008.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Des Plaines, Ill., has released a report that tracks occurrences of metal theft.
The updated report reviews metal theft claims from Jan. 1, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2011.
The NICB issued an initial report on metal theft in February 2009. Since then, incidents have dropped off slightly, says the group. However, the NICB says the updated report shows that starting in August 2009, thefts steadily increased across the nation driven by rising prices for base metals, especially copper.
According to the NICB, in an unclassified intelligence assessment first released in 2008 and modified in 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wrote, “Copper thieves are threatening U.S. critical infrastructure . . . and present a risk to both public safety and national security.”
The NICB report identified 25,083 insurance claims related to metals theft in the 2009-2011 span, compared with 13,861 identified from the 2006-2008 report, representing an 81 percent increase. The states generating the most metal theft claims are Ohio, with 2,398 claims; Texas, 2,023 claims; Georgia, 1,481 claims; California, 1,348 claims; and Illinois, 1,284 claims.
The NICB report also ranked the five municipal areas that reported the most metal theft claims. They are Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, 963 claims; New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, 921 claims; Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, 823 claims; Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington, 674 claims; and Detroit-Warren-Livonia, 587 claims.
The NICB is a not-for-profit organization that describes itself as “dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness.”
More information, including the full report, can be found at www.nicb.org.