As the weather warms up, so do thieves on the lookout for property that can be sold for scrap metal, according to Baltimore County Police Department officials.
Rainspouts, aluminum ladders and bicycles have all been stolen and sold to local recyclers, according to a department statement.
The problem is widespread enough to have inspired the creation of a to crack down on the growing problem.
But police officials are encouraging resident to take defensive action to prevent needing the help of that special team at all.
The police department suggests the following measures to reduce the chances of becoming a metals theft victim:
- Keep metallic items out of sight and locked away. Keeping these items out of view while in your yard is the best way to prevent a crime. Thieves can’t steal what they can’t see. Cover aluminum ladders if you don’t have a garage.
- Secure all equipment in locked buildings and sheds when possible.
- Post “No Trespassing” signs around the property.
- Install a security camera that records suspicious activity.
- Trim or remove shrubbery that allows criminals to hide on your property.
- Increase lighting in your yard. Consider a combination of constant low level lighting with a motion sensor flood light.
- Don’t receive delivery of home improvement supplies unless they can be used immediately.
- Talk with neighbors who are home during the day about this type of crime. Sometimes these thefts occur during the day when many people are working.
- Vacant homes are an attractive target for thieves and crimes may not be discovered for months. Keep a close eye on vacant homes and report anyone who should not be there.
- Don’t hesitate to call the police with information about metals theft or suspicious people in your neighborhood. Many crimes have been solved by a tip from an anonymous caller.
North Point precinct outreach team staff members offer residential and commercial security surveys at no charge. The survey is a personalized assessment of a home or business to determine crime vulnerability.
To schedule a free residential or commercial security survey, call the North Point outreach team, 410-887-7337.
Source: Baltimore County Police Department