Region - USA


How to Prevent Copper Theft

Law Enforcement agencies across the USA are reporting a dramatic increase in metal thefts, with copper, bronze, brass, and aluminum all being targeted.

Copper prices are currently at an all-time high, with increases of up to 28% in the last 12 months brought on by global shortages. This, in turn, is increasing the attractiveness of the metal as a target for both opportunist and organized theft.

Thieves are willing to go to any length to obtain the metal. They will strip metal sheets from building rooftops, rip apart air conditioners for the copper coils contained within, and strip homes and buildings of wiring and piping.

Construction sites are the hardest hit locations for copper theft, as metal is often left unguarded and relatively unsecured. Parking lots and car dealerships are equally at risk, with catalytic converters a key target for thieves.

WCCTV, the USA's leading supplier of mobile surveillance cameras, outlines below some critical advice for preventing copper theft. 

How to Prevent Copper Theft at Construction Sites - WCCTV USA

Surveillance Cameras for Construction Job Sites

How to Prevent Copper Theft

At WCCTV, we are confident that the most effective way to prevent any opportunist theft is to have a visible surveillance camera presence at your construction job sites or properties.

But a blended approach to security is always best, and you can combine many other steps with our mobile surveillance units to further enhance security. These include:

1. Install Security Lighting

Most criminals prefer to operate under cover of darkness, so security lights can be an effective deterrent. A well-lit construction site, property, or parking lot is less likely to be targeted by opportunist copper thieves. 

Learn more: Construction sites are one of the most common targets for copper theft. Download WCCTV's Comprehensive Guide to Construction Site Security to learn how to protect your construction sites from copper thieves or criminals.

2. Install Mobile Surveillance Cameras

Mobile video surveillance cameras provide a visible deterrent to potential thieves and capture video evidence to assist with any law enforcement investigations. 

Surveillance cameras backed by remote video monitoring act as a virtual security guard - tracking criminals, gathering evidence, and allowing remote deployment of law enforcement or private security to respond as the situations unfold.

WCCTV's security cameras can be deployed to your sites regardless of your current power situation. Our solutions are customizable and can adapt to any situation, whether you have mounting poles with electricity or need a more mobile solar solution. Our units operate utilizing 4G LTE transmission, making them entirely autonomous.

The camera's built-in video analytics capability helps to automatically detect unwanted intruders, which triggers our monitoring partners' customizable escalation process.

This helps to prevent, catch or record criminal activity. See for yourself just how effective our systems are: 

3. Install Perimeter Fences

Setting up solid fencing around your sites, especially covered fences, will prevent people from seeing into your sites. Fencing will also act as a barrier, helping keep opportunist thieves from accessing your sites with any ease.

Anything you can do to make your site more difficult to access will let thieves know that you are not an easy target, and they will likely move on to the next target. 

A Comprehensive Guide to Construction Site Security

4. Place Warning Signs Around the Site

Warning signs around your site can have a huge impact on reducing copper theft. Letting potential thieves know you have security measures (surveillance cameras, guards, barbed fencing, etc.) shows that you have hardened your site against theft.

You should also utilize warning signs to alert thieves to hazards associated with copper theft, such as electrocution from stripping out copper wiring. If a criminal realizes their life could be in jeopardy if they try to remove copper from your site, they are likely to think twice.

Construction Site Security Camera with alarms - WCCTV

Copper Theft FAQs

1. What is copper theft?

Copper theft is a type of metal theft in which items are stolen for the value of their constituent metals.

Metal theft tends to increase when the global value of scrap metal increases, as has happened dramatically in recent years.

Other than precious metals such as gold and silver, copper, aluminum, brass, and bronze are the most commonly stolen metals. However, even cast iron and steel are seeing higher theft rates due to increased scrap metal prices.

2. Why is copper theft a problem?

Aside from the owner's cost and inconvenience, the FBI highlights the serious threat copper theft presents to US critical infrastructure. Copper stolen from electrical substations, cellular towers, telephone landlines, railroads, water wells, and construction sites has a significant impact on US citizens' daily lives.

3. Why is copper theft so common?

The recent dramatic increase in copper theft is due to severe metal shortages, which has led to its increased cost and resale value. Both opportunist thieves and organized crime gangs see the opportunities associated with stealing copper. 

The issue is so widespread that 33 states across the US have enacted legislation related to copper theft. Pertinent legislation that helps restrict the sale of stolen copper in these states includes:

  • Transaction record-keeping

  • Strict identification requirements

  • Specific payment methods

  • Proving ownership before sale

WCCTV - Managed Security Cameras for Theft Prevention

WCCTV is the USA's leading supplier of mobile surveillance cameras.

We provide market-leading security cameras backed by a fully managed service, including equipment installation, video monitoring, maintenance, and ongoing technical support.

Our rapid-deployment cameras provide sites with multi-application benefits, including security, time lapse video filming, and remote project management.

Our customizable solutions can accommodate any site and efficiently function whether you have power or are dependent on solar energy. Our units contain 4G LTE transmission technology – allowing these solutions to operate autonomously.

No matter the site, we have a solution that we can create for you.

Ready to find out how WCCTV's Mobile Surveillance Cameras can assist with your site security? Get in touch today at 877 805-9475 or email

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