With copper prices still high, you find that thieves have targeted copper in every form so that they can sell it to scrapyards for fast cash. You may figure that your church would have other things stolen, but church insurance statistics show that almost half of the theft claims involved copper. For example, Church Mutual found that their customers made 1,523 copper theft claims in 2011, which totaled $10.7 million.
While that was a few years ago, 2015 shows little respite. We are still dealing with a surge in copper thefts, and if you do not take precautionary measures, you could become a target. What is the most common target? The most frequent target is often outdoor air conditioning units. When Church Mutual reviewed their claims, they found that 90 percent of all the copper theft claims were related to outdoor air conditioners.
Why do thieves prey on houses of worship? The most common reason people will steal from churches is because they are left unguarded at night. In addition, many churches will have numerous air conditioners or one large one, which means they can remove the copper and sell it for more money.
Aside from air conditioners, other items that have become common targets include plumbing pipes, wires, rain gutters and air conditioning coils. Thieves will sometimes use disguises for bigger targets. In one example, the thieves dressed up as construction workers so that the neighbors and pastor would not think twice about suspicious people around the air conditioner. How do you combat this? A reputable construction company will always provide proper photo identification. Never hesitate to ask for it.
To reduce the threat of air conditioning thefts, use cage guards with tamper-resistant screws. You can also place pressure sensor alarms on the unit. You may also want to change the location of your AC unit. For example, placing it on the roof will make it less accessible. You might also want to add surveillance cameras that are visible but tamper proof to deter thieves.
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