A Thief's Sourcing Guide to Stealing Scrap – Part Two

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(A Thief’s Guide to Stealing Scrap, continued from Part One.)

2. Pay attention to the weight and amount of metal required to achieve the financial target #1 from Part One notwithstanding (“considering the forward cost curve”), one would have to steal quite a bit more aluminum than, say, nickel to achieve the financial target. The lighter metals have less appeal on this front, though we admire these thieves who stole high school bleachers:

Tip: Think small and heavy, alternatively, small and pricey

3. Ease of theft closely related to #2 above, we can’t help but wonder, given the amount of closed circuit surveillance equipment, photo-enforced traffic, etc., why a thief would even bother stealing certain items. Take for example this nickel-based gas turbine:

Source: The Nickel Institute

We do, however, understand the popularity of grave-sites. I mean, the traffic is sparse, the surveillance systems don’t appear intimidating and it’s not like the victim will have the opportunity to quickly retaliate.

Tip: Dark places still represent good opportunities, however, given the economic environment and move by some to save money on the “after-life, grave-sites may not provide ample scrap metal (see #2 above).

4. Risk of personal harm in our humble opinion, robbers and would-be robbers pay far too little attention to the very real harm of personal injury. Why a non-electrician would steal copper from a utility substation is beyond comprehension, yet nonetheless we keep hearing about these stories. Here is a recent example about a man who had his hand burned in an explosion (during an attempted copper heist).

Tip: Best to cut your electrician-friend into the deal to minimize this risk.

5. Risk of getting caught until we adopt a more Singapore styled corporal or capital punishment justice system (think public caning), scrap theft remains an excellent choice for would-be criminals. What with the evidence in a melt shop or re-cast into something else, crime stoppers have little ability to deploy novel DNA techniques.

Tip: Avoid drawing attention to oneself and try to better match your getaway vehicle with the theft at hand (e.g. try not to put a set of bleachers into an F150 — it looks slightly suspicious).

5. Plausibility of said items at the local scrap shop it seems to me that walking into the local scrap shop lugging several manhole covers ought to raise the eyebrows of pretty much any scrap dealer (let’s face it, most of our infrastructure is so old that people ought to assume we don’t have any money to ever replace them). Ditto for road signs. Ditto for rail track. And whatever you do, don’t try lugging in any nacelles to your local scrap dealer.

Tip: If you are going to your local scrap dealer, think “plausible.

Undoubtedly, other scrap theft sourcing criteria exist. Unfortunately, we are out of time and space. If you felt this post offered any useful information, please feel free to post a comment.

–Lisa Reisman

Disclaimer: This article is an utter farce. That means it’s a joke. You can’t sue us or come back later accusing us of goading you to somehow partake in said criminal activities. Theft is always illegal. If you decide to engage in a crime after reading this, then that’s your own dumb choice.

Comments (5)

  1. Jason says:

    This was an absolute laugh-out-loud pleasure.

    I stuck a link up on my page – hope that’s OK.


    1. admin says:

      We always welcome links. Thanks for your comment. You made my day! 🙂 LAR

  2. Jenny Potter says:

    Amazing content. You explain the topic exactly.. Thanks for sharing

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