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Glaziers beware; thieves target aluminum and other metals on jobsites

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:55

Skyrocketing scrap prices for metals, particularly copper and aluminum, have made construction jobsites prime targets for thieves. Contract glaziers say they increasingly have to protect against thefts of everything from copper wire to aluminum frames. In the Jan. 22 e-glass poll, 73 percent of respondents said jobsite theft is on the rise. “Our electrical group has experienced stolen wire for copper up to and including large spools weighing hundreds of pounds. We had completed frames stolen off our flatbed trailer from our parking lot,” says Bill John, president of InterClad in Minneapolis. Bill Keen, vice president of operations for Texas Engineered Products Co., Dallas, says theft of aluminum curtain wall members has been a growing problem at TEPCO’s jobsites. “Normally, we lose the horizontals fastest, because they are the short pieces. They take really anything that can fit into someone’s pickup,” he says. Keen says glazing contractors get hit by thefts through the deductibles from insurance companies. “Sometimes the deductibles are as high as $5,000. … And then the insurance companies raise your rates because of the claims,” he says. The high cost of metals has driven the increase in thefts. While the price of aluminum is down about 17 percent compared to last year, they are up about 68 percent compared to five years ago, according to aluminum price data from Global InfoMine. Copper prices have increased almost 24 percent in the last year, and skyrocketed 274 percent in the past five years, also according to thesame site. Economists predict metals prices will continue to increase, making preventative measures critical. Keen recommends glaziers delay material delivery as long as possible, and avoid keeping materials on site over the weekend. When the deliveries come in, keep the materials in locked vaults. “We rent locked vaults—containers that have special heavy-duty bolts. … We’ve done this on most jobsites, and thefts have dramatically reduced,” Keen says. John adds that glaziers can place materials in harder to reach places. “We try to protect our materials by putting them in places that people can’t get to—up on the floors, up on a roof.” Contact us if you’ve been affected by theft and to give more recommendations on how to prevent it.

—By Katy Devlin, e-newsletter editorShare this article:

Source: http://www.glassmagazine.com/news-item/commercial/glaziers-beware-thieves-target-aluminum-and-other-metals-jobsitesAuthor:

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