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Thieves Make Off With Scrap Metal in Wheelie Bins and Wheelbarrows  

Thieves Make Off With Scrap Metal in Wheelie Bins and Wheelbarrows  

Thieves Make Off With Scrap Metal in Wheelie Bins and Wheelbarrows  

Police in Derbyshire are urging people to be alert to rogue scrap and waste collectors who are making off with copper and lead from houses, churches, schools, and memorials. The thieves often put the metal in wheelie bins and wheelbarrows for an easy getaway. Scrap metal prices have recently risen which accounts for the increase in thefts.

Use licensed traders only

The police have called on people to make sure they are using legitimate licensed traders and to report any suspicious activity. Legitimate companies will have a scrap metal dealer’s license and a waste carrier’s licensed which is issued by the Environment Agency. A legitimate trader will only offer payment via cheque or bank transfer and they’ll also offer a receipt for any collection.

Officers have urged people to keep an eye out for unusual activity around churches, memorials, and derelict properties.

Protect your property from metal theft

A police spokesperson commented that metal theft is not a victimless crime, and it can cause distress to victims and potential environmental problems if waste is fly-tipped. Police have offered these words of advice for members of the public;

  • Be vigilant and report suspicious activity, no matter what time of the day or night. Some brazen rogue traders will operate in broad daylight.
  • If you notice anyone on a roof and there’s no scaffolding, report it to the police and note down the details of any vehicle that’s being used.
  • Report anyone who you think is potentially trespassing on school, church, or private property.
  • To protect your property, lock gates where possible, and make sure fences are secure. Keep wheelie bins and wheelbarrows out of sight. Thieves can use these to make away with stolen metal.
  • Store ladders out of sight, ideally in a secure place like a garage or shed.
  • Avoid leaving any items containing scrap metal outside of your property.
  • Keep an eye on any empty properties nearby and report any unusual activity.
  • If there’s copper or lead anywhere on your property, paint it black so your property won’t become a target for thieves.


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