Metal theft is alarmingly widespread in New Zealand. There are large-scale cases involving tonnes of high-grade copper wire, and some incidents even happen in broad daylight. This act of criminality is so extensive, power companies team up to use NanoTags to immediately identify stolen copper and put the offender behind bars.
Everybody is a victim of this crime. The community, the owners of the stolen item and even honest traders, like Whakatane scrap buyers and Auckland metal recyclers.
As an ordinary citizen, you must know what to do when you fall prey to this criminal activity. Not just to recover your stolen possession, but also to clean the streets. In case of theft, here are three things you should decide on quickly:
When to Report
The key to capturing the culprit is to act as soon as possible. Thieves would normally try to sell what they stole the first chance they can. If not the same day, they would offer your metal items to traders in less than a week.
You must report your stolen metal to the police the moment you discover it’s gone. In addition, submitting a report on the Scrap Metal Recycling Association of New Zealand (SMRANZ) site can help mobilise the authorities ASAP.
What to Include in the Report
Be as specific as you can. Providing detailed description of your possession is paramount to let not just the authorities, but also metal traders identify your stolen item effectively. The SMRANZ site allows you to upload several photos of your metal item for better identification.
What Do You Want the Scrap Metal Operator Do
If you file a report thru the SMRANZ site, you’d be asked if you’d let the scrap metal operator to accept or refuse your item from being sold. Choosing to reject the offer by the thieves may prevent them from selling it once, but they may get away the second try. Also, the offenders might feel that what they have stolen has already been reported, so they might decide to just dump your item somewhere and get away, Macaulay Metal Group adds.
On the other hand, giving a green light to accept the item lets the trader to get the information of the suspect, which may help prosecute them later on. By authorising the trader to buy the stolen item, however, it means you’re likewise agreeing to reimburse the metal scrap company of the purchase price.
Bringing your metal thieves to justice is no question, but you may still have to suffer in some way. Nevertheless, if that’s what it takes to put the perpetrators away, it may only be a small price to pay.