Metal theft on the rise in Indianapolis; tips to protect yourself

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind (Oct. 30, 2014)– Metal theft in Indianapolis is on the rise.

Since 2011, thieves have stolen  over $16 million  worth of scrap metal.  These figures are according to a new study published by The University of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Metro Police Department.

“This is a crime problem. It’s a growing problem,” said UIndy professor Kevin Whiteacre.

Darren Frye was hit by thieves. The  catalytic converter was taken from the bottom of his truck.

“People are losing their hard-earned money for $20 or $40 dollars. I think its ridiculous,” said Frye.

Frye wasn’t just a victim to metal thieves.  He’s the owner of “Darren Frye Master Electrician.” He says that many of the calls he receives are to repair stolen or damaged copper wiring from homes.

“Between catalytic converters, copper and people stealing siding off of houses- it’s costing everyone money,” said Frye.

Indianapolis saw about two catalytic converter thefts a day from 2011-2013. In Marion County, there are roughly 11 metal theft incidents per day, up from an average of seven in 2008.

The thefts typically occur in long-term parking lots and car rental businesses.  Whitacre suggests parking in a secured and well-lit parking facility.

Appliance theft is also up citywide.  Whitacre says that is  a sign of metal thieves planning their attack before they strike.

You used to just see a person walking down the street with a shopping court. Now, to be stealing appliances, it indicates that it’s a little more organized and it involves trucks,” said Whiteacre.

While metal crime is up, there are some things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

“A lot of the metal thefts are coming out of garages. Just close your garage door when you aren’t using it,” said Whiteacre.

Jim Kelly learned that lesson the hard way.

“They tried stealing the downspouts in my garage.   They  were screwed into the garage so they did more damage to the garage, and they didn’t make-off with downspouts,” said Kelly.

Whitacre says that he hopes the study will help law enforcement focus its resources on parts of the city that have been identified as hot-spots for metal thefts.

 

on metal theft across the city.

 

 

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