/ Modified sep 24, 2012 5:14 p.m.

Metal Thefts Cost $2M in Tucson

Police, business groups hope to raise awareness, reduce problem


Swamp coolers, cattle troughs, wire and fences along with their poles all have become hot commodities in a growing wave of metal theft.

The problem of metal theft is growing around the world, and Tucson business owners and residents have absorbed losses of millions of dollars.

To tackle the issue, businesses have enlisted help from police to bring more awareness to metal theft and eventually stop it.

Amber Smith, director of the Metropolitan Pima Alliance, estimates such thefts cost about $1 billion annually nationwide.

"The city of Tucson has experienced about $2 million in reported damage," says Smith, who along with MPA plans to hold a community awareness meeting to educate the community and ensure enforcement has the correct tools to fight the issue.

Lt. Tom Earley of the Tucson Police Department says that commonly these crimes are committed at night in areas that are poorly lit or secured.

"Relative to the damage that they cause (the thieves) are getting a fairly small amount of reward," says Earley.

Tom Early spot Tom Early, Lieutenant for the Tucson Police Department is raising awareness about the ongoing problem of metal theft in our community. (PHOTO: AZPM)
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona