Metal Theft

Metal theft is a challenging problem that tends to be underestimated. Local wire and metal theft problems can be linked to international demand and high prices for metal.

Thieves target all kinds of metals. Theft can include catalytic converters in cars, copper boat propellers, metal roof gutters and fencing. Wire from street lamps and telephone cables are also vulnerable, as well as vacant buildings and homes under construction.

Thieves use a variety of methods to locate and steal wire and metal. Some have posed as renovation contractors while stripping copper from vacant homes. Others have been known to use resources such as Google Earth to identify large amounts of metal (such as spools of wire) stored outdoors.

Costs due to damage to commercial or residential properties during the theft can easily outweigh the value of the stolen items.

What to look for

What to do

Regional Automated Property Information Database (RAPID)

On January 1, 2018 the City of Surrey modernized the Second-hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers By-law to include electronic reporting. The bylaw, which has existed since 1997, requires pawnbrokers and scrap metal dealers to report all property they intake to police. The newly adopted electronic reporting has been designed for automated comparison with information entered in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). This has streamlined the process for investigators allowing Surrey RCMP to more efficiently track stolen property.

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