Moraine death puts scrap metal thefts in spotlight: 4 things to know

Dayton ranks in the top 30 among U.S. cities and Ohio leads the nation among states in reported metal thefts, according to a national organization. STAFF PHOTO
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Dayton ranks in the top 30 among U.S. cities and Ohio leads the nation among states in reported metal thefts, according to a national organization. STAFF PHOTO

The death of a Milford man police said was electrocuted attempting to steal copper from a Moraine business this week is the latest instance of a crime that has been common in the Dayton area and Ohio in particular.

MORE: Milford man dies while attempting to steal metal from Moraine business

Here are four things you should know about the value of metal and metal thefts:

-WE'RE NO. 1. Ohio has led the nation in metal thefts reported from 2011 through 2015, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. From 2013-15, rounding out the top five were Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

RELATED: Thefts down, but Ohio still leads nation

-DAYTON IN THE TOP 30. The Gem City ranked 30th among cities nationally from 2013-15 for reported metal thefts at 263, according to the NICB. Others in the Buckeye State high on that list were No. 6 Cleveland, eighth-ranked Cincinnati, Columbus at No. 9 and Akron, No. 19.

-GUARD YOUR COPPER. Of Ohio's 4,144 metal theft claims from 2011-13, nearly all of them were copper. That metal has risen, by some estimates, five times in value since 2001. In one instance in September 2013, a witness reported seeing a man climb from the window of an East Third Street Dayton home, where police discovered around 50 pounds of copper piping cut out of the residence.

RELATED: Separate scrap metal thefts lead to arrests

-METAL IS A BIG BUSINESS. Metal theft costs U.S. businesses $1 billion a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Some use scrap metal as a revenue stream.

The employment of two city of Dayton workers ended in June after a police investigation into unauthorized scrap-metal sales at a local junkyard. The investigation has not resulted in any criminal convictions, but raised questions about whether city employees sold scrap-metal without authorization from their supervisors, which is against city policy.

RELATED: Two city employees out after scrap metal probe