CINCINNATI - Cincinnati ranks sixth in the country in metal theft, according to a new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
The Bureau tracks insurance claims for copper, bronze, brass and aluminum theft. There were nearly 34,000 such claims in the U.S. during a two-year period that ended in December. Ohio ranked first among the 50 states with 3,228 claims, including 720 from the Cincinnati-Middletown MSA. Cleveland ranked 9th in the nation with 627 claims.
NCIB said 96 percent of metal-theft claims involve copper, a commodity that rose to record prices during the height the recession.
"Thieves have been willing to go to almost any length to obtain the metal," said the NCIB report. "They have stripped the sheets of metal from building rooftops, stolen memorial decorations from cemeteries, ripped apart air conditioners for the copper coils within and stripped homes and buildings of wiring and piping."
Ohio has tried to combat the problem by starting an online registry that keeps tabs on sellers of scrap metal. The Ohio Insurance Institute has a list of tips for businesses trying to combat metal theft. The list can be found at https://www.ohioinsurance.org/taking-aim-at-ohios-metal-theft-problem/#more-17748