St. Louis (KSDK) - Copper theft is a growing problem in the St. Louis area, and the Better Business Bureau wants consumers to know how to protect themselves.
They're offering the following tips:
- Secure items if possible. Keep items thieves could pilfer inside. For larger targets, like air conditioning units, keep the area fenced in and lock any gates.
- Make it difficult for thieves. Move dumpsters and ladders away from buildings to make it difficult for thieves to reach rooftop refrigeration units. Clear brush around ground-level air conditioning equipment so others can spot people attempting to work around the unit or destroying it.
- Invest in security. Add motion-sensing or continuous outdoor lighting around air conditioning units. Businesses should try to have someone on site at night or install video cameras to watch for thieves.
- Start a neighborhood watch. Get to know your neighbors and ask them to help keep watch. Never assume the person working on the neighbor's air conditioner or gutters is a repairman. Check with the neighbors, then call the police.
- Mark materials. If materials are stolen, the best chance of identifying them is to make them stand out from other similar material that might come to a recycler legitimately. Marking items with bright paint, and etching an identification number at various places can make the items more difficult to sell.