St. Louis (KSDK) - Copper theft is a growing problem in the St. Louis area, and the Better Business Bureau wants consumers to know how to protect themselves.
They're offering the following tips:
•Secure items if possible. Keep items thieves could pilfer inside. For larger targets, like air conditioning units, keep the area fenced in and lock any gates.
•Make it difficult for thieves. Move dumpsters and ladders away from buildings to make it difficult for thieves to reach rooftop refrigeration units. Clear brush around ground-level air conditioning equipment so others can spot people attempting to work around the unit or destroying it.
•Invest in security. Add motion-sensing or continuous outdoor lighting around air conditioning units. Businesses should try to have someone on site at night or install video cameras to watch for thieves.
•Start a neighborhood watch. Get to know your neighbors and ask them to help keep watch. Never assume the person working on the neighbor's air conditioner or gutters is a repairman. Check with the neighbors, then call the police.
•Mark materials. If materials are stolen, the best chance of identifying them is to make them stand out from other similar material that might come to a recycler legitimately. Marking items with bright paint, and etching an identification number at various places can make the items more difficult to sell.