Ohio leads nation in metal-theft insurance claims (link)
No state tops Ohio when it comes to insurance claims for thefts of copper and other kinds of metals.
In fact, it’s not even close.
Ohio reported 4,438 insurance claims for metal theft, nearly all of them involving thefts of copper, from 2012 through 2014 from homes and businesses, according to a report released this morning by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
The state reported far more claims than Pennsylvania (2,770), Texas (2,379), New Jersey (2,139), California (2,127) and New York (2,071).
Nationally, claims peaked in 2012.
It has been a different story in Ohio, where claims have continued to rise and now are three times higher than they were in 2009. Claims from Ohio make up 11 percent of all claims nationwide.
The reason for Ohio’s high claims rate is a mystery, but the state and major cities have been aggressive in highlighting the problem.
The state has created an electronic registry to coordinate scrap-metal sales data and track the activities of sellers and individual vehicles used by those sellers. The database is meant to help law-enforcement officials solve scrap-metal theft cases.
Columbus became the first community in Ohio to require scrap yards to submit daily online information to police about metals sold and maintains a “do-not-buy-from” list for scrap yards and pawnshops naming people convicted of theft.
“There is definitely a problem in Ohio,” said Dustyn Fox, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Homeland Security, which tracks metal thefts in the state.
“That’s why we’re serious about it. We’re trying to not take a back-seat approach to it.”
Ohio also was among the states hurt by home foreclosures; those usually vacant houses have been easy targets for copper thieves.story continues...