© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Metal Thefts Down, But Ohio Still Leads Nation

Pixabay Commons
Copper is highly sought by thieves because of its high value at scrap yards.

Ohio continued to lead the nation in the number of scrap metal thefts in 2015, even though the number of thefts once again decreased last year.

A new report from the Ohio Insurance Institute says there were 1,070 metal thefts reported in Ohio last year. 

Between 2013 and 2015, Ohio had 44 percent more reported thefts than the second-ranking state, Pennsylvania.

The insurance institute’s Mary Bonelli says they’re not exactly sure why Ohio has so many more claims, but they have at least one theory.

“We have more construction, more activity going on in Ohio, so the thefts may be larger in size, meaning that they are turning into insurance claims,” Bonelli said.

Click the play button below to hear Steve Brown's conversation with Bonelli


While Ohio continues to lead the nation in metal thefts, the number of thefts has declined in recent years. That follows new regulations that require scrap yards to ask for a photo ID, take a picture of a person turning in material, keep a “no buy” list, and in some cities, take a seller’s fingerprints.