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Preventing Scrap Theft

Scrap metal recycling is a huge market in the United States. The impact of such a readily available industry means that individuals are always looking for new profit. Countless companies deal with manufacturing, which will produce valuable scrap metal as a by-product. Workers in the metal manufacturing and electrical wiring industries learn the value of recycling by-products. The cost of raw materials can be expensive, and with every company looking to save a buck, recycling metal materials is key.

Scrap Metal Market

In November 2011, U.S. Senate Resolution 252, recognized the scrap recycling industry as a manufacturing industry critical to the future of the U.S.A, (According to If the reuse of raw metal materials has been deemed, “critical” to the future, then we can assume the trend will continue. It is extremely common for employees to steal raw materials and by-products. Being in the commercial security industry, this is a HUGE reason for manufacturers who have installed security cameras.

There are depositories, recyclers, and junkyards everywhere that will pay cash for scrap metal. Raw metal, by-product, processed metal, used parts, junk metals, motors and parts, etc. are all treated the same, so for those stealing, it is quantity over quality. Provided that manufacturers are producing metal, scrapping profits will continue grow. The demand for scrap is directly correlated with the amount of metal manufacturing. If your business suffers loss due to suspected scrap theft, the issue must be handled, or it will not stop.

Popular Scrap Materials:

· Aluminum

· Copper

· Electrical Wiring

· Steal

Industries Prone to Scrap Loss:

· Automotive

· Heating and Cooling

· Industrial Warehouse

· Junk Yard

· Parking Lots

· Manufacturing Facility

· Material Handling

· Repair Shop

stolen scrap

signs of Scrap Theft

One of the more expensive materials to scrap is copper. Copper is subject to fluctuate to market conditions, so paying attention to the value of materials used is important. Check out this article, if you see unusual employee interactions, break or lunch patterns, etc. and begin to suspect an employee of theft. At eos, we’ve heard stories of employees who take small pieces of metal to a hidden pile of scrap, one by one, until that pile becomes worth stealing. It may not be obvious when an employee is stealing. Employees who work in these types of settings sometimes coordinate theft as “team”. It is easier for this type of theft to slip through the cracks and go completely unnoticed.


Many small manufacturing facilities do not use surveillance cameras. This is a scenario where an investment could potentially pay for itself. Depending on the amount of theft occurring, surveillance cameras provide enough security to eliminate large chunks of loss. Cameras provide a 24/7 solution as they serve as a ‘baseline’ of security, duplicating presence where there is none.

Covert cameras are perfect for revealing if employees are stealing, while more obvious, well-lit cameras provide protection against trespassers who may be stealing. “Surveillance on Property” signs and decently lit areas also help deter scrappers. Our "Forensic Search" feature is useful in seeing who last touched an object. This technology is extremely useful in all applications.

Storage is a key factor in preventing loss for large facilities. Limiting access to certain storage areas narrows the potential risk of theft. You may want to take this a step further by securing storage facilities, units, cabinets, etc. with an access control system. Eos access control allows you to distribute digital keys and automatically assign employees access to your facility. This provides an instant record for all locked or unlocked doors. Speak with a specialist, because the right camera placement, security options, and alarms will have you saving money on business insurance as well.

Monitoring can be expensive, especially since it requires manpower, added wages, extra insurance, and hours on the clock. Monitoring can be done automatically or remotely via surveillance cameras. Useful surveillance tips like, setting your cameras to only record on movement, will turn your facility into a fortress.

Alarm systems are exceptionally useful for garages or facilities with easy-to-access windows, providing a safeguard for after-hours trespassers. This can be applied to entire buildings, or one specific area, like a tool shed or loading dock.


As far as we can tell, scrap theft will be sticking around. All we can do to help is provide information. Did you know you can monitor recent scrap-related crimes in your area? Via, anyone can search for any patterns in scrap crimes in any location. If you are reading this because of problems related to scrap loss, please give us a call and see what a surveillance specialist can do for your business! We’d be happy to help provide a camera system for your business!

eos Business Surveillance Solutions

Flint, Michigan

Phone: (810) 433 - 3308



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