Scrap metal thefts from businesses growing in Hanover

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - A crime alert now out of Hanover where thieves are after scrap metal.  The growing crime is keeping investigators busy as more businesses are reporting thefts.

"Aluminum, copper, those air conditioners that just sometimes sit around, batteries, steel: it all has value on the secondary market," said Investigator David Klisz.

It's a crime that gives a whole new meaning to that common phrase one person's trash is another person's treasure. In March, Thomas Dicken and Chad Carter were arrested and charged with larceny for stealing a battery from the Convenience Center on Route 301.

"Batteries have lead cores; lead cores have value," Klisz said.

It's just one of a number of scrap metal thefts investigators are looking into right now.

"Turns out that a lot of that metal has value at secondary markets at scrap yards, and businesses have started reporting that it's been stolen, and we have to react that, and that's what we've been doing," he said.

As this crime grows in popularity, investigators are continuing to form relationships with scrap yard owners hoping to get reports of suspicious activity. They are also working with local businesses to try and curb thefts. The key is to make your business less attractive to thieves.

"When people leave metal products outside of their businesses, it's the same as leaving money outside, and if someone drives past and knows metal has value, you are giving them an opportunity to steal from you.  We have our patrol officers when they do property checks at businesses, they know what to look for; they look for property that might be a target for theft, and they'll stop in through our park, walk and talk program, and they'll go in and tell them what they see and recommend a change," said Klisz.

And simple as it sounds, the Sheriff's Office wants to remind everyone that if you something suspicious happening in your neighborhood or at a nearby business, give them a call so they can check it out.

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