The prices for various metals are hitting new highs and so are reports of metal thefts in Iowa. Jim Saunders, with the Iowa Department of Public Safety, says there have been 105 reported cases of metal theft this year in the state, compare to just 35 cases in all of 2005.
The thieves originally focused their efforts on copper, but have since moved on to other types of metal."The thieves are expanding their thefts to rural farm locations," Saunders says, "they’re stealing metal hog feeders or other equipment made of galvanized and stainless steel."
Saunders is encouraging farmers and other metal owners to consider installing motion-sensitive lights and surveillance cameras to deter potential thieves. He says it’s also a good idea to secure buildings containing tools or metal objects with quality locks.
Saunders adds that placing unique markings on metal items can help in identifying the stolen material. He says many times, the thefts go unreported, so he’s asking Iowans to report any suspicious activity and is encouraging scrap metal dealers to document all their purchases.