NICB: Ohio scrap metal theft claims remain tops in US

AlternateMetalTheftInfographicCOLUMBUS (May 8, 2014) The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that Ohio has the dubious distinction of leading the country in insurance metal theft claims. In its report for 2011-2013, the NICB reports an overall decline in US scrap metal theft claims of over 26 percent between 2011 and 2013.

For the third consecutive year of this report, Ohio ranked first in the US in metal theft claims to insurance companies. The newly released report for 2011-13 finds Ohio ranking first, generating 4,144 metal theft claims for the reporting period of 2011-13. Ranking second through fifth were: Texas (2,827), California (2,489), Pennsylvania (2,345) and Georgia (2,067).

The NICB indicates that while many more metal thefts occur than are reported to law enforcement agencies across the US, they do not necessarily trigger claims. According to the Ohio Insurance Institute (OII) if the damage is not covered by insurance or the loss is below or near the insurance policy’s deductible, it would likely not trigger an insurance claim.

According to the OII, efforts are underway to reverse the trend. Ohio’s scrap metal program, expected to fully launch later this year, will aid law enforcement in the identification of metal thefts, thieves and metal theft transactions. The program is the result of the passage of SB 193 in 2012. (See more on Ohio’s effort below)

Click here for NICB’s 2011-13 release, including additional resources.

Ohio efforts to combat metal theft 
• In June 2012, SB 193 was signed into law by Governor Kasich. Various provisions took effect on Janurary 1, 2013 and others on January 1, 2014. Click here for details on law provisions and effective dates.
• Ohio currently operates a mandatory online registry for scrap metal and bulk merchandise container dealers on the Ohio Homeland Security’s website. The online registry aims to crack down on metal theft by focusing on the end point–scrap dealers and recycling facilities.
• In 2014 Ohio scrap dealers are required to report transactions through an electronic reporting system maintained by the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS). Dealers are to send transactions to the ODPS by noon on the following business day. The records must include information such as a picture of the seller and the weight of the product they’re selling. In addition, ODPS will maintain a “Do Not Buy From” list with the names of known scrap metal thieves for use by law enforcement agencies and dealers. This reporting requirement is expected to become effective on July 1, 2014.
• For more information on Ohio’s law and program, view these resources:
Ohio Homeland Security: Scrap metal materials
Ohio Department of Public Safety: Safer Ohio (page 10)
Ohio Department of Public Safety: Ohio’s Scrap Metal Law

Ohio scrap metal info by the numbers
• According to the NICB and Columbus Dispatch, Ohio metal theft claims by year:

2009 466
2010 797
2011 1,198
2012 1,142
2013 1,804

• NICB metal theft claims for Ohio for recent 2-year periods:

2009-11 2,398
2010-12 3,228
2011-13 4,144

• 388: Number of scrap dealers in Ohio. (Source: Ohio Department of Public Safety, Safer Ohio, page 10)

• $250: First-time registration fee for Ohio scrap metal dealers to support Ohio’s new online data base (yearly fee set at $150) (Source: Marion Star)

• 2011-13 metal theft claims by major Ohio city (Source: NICB 2011-13 report)

City Claims
Cincinnati 508
Columbus 494
Cleveland 444
Dayton 222
Akron 169
Toledo 164
Youngstown 93
Canton 93

• 2010-12 metal theft claims by major Ohio city and rankings (Sources: Columbus Dispatch graphic and NICB 2010-12 report)

Rank City Claims
6 Cincinnati 720
9 Cleveland 627
13 Columbus 444
31 Dayton 215
38 Youngstown 176
47 Akron 148
54 Toledo 127
63 Canton 104

For more scrap metal theft claims information and resources: See OII’s May, 2013 report: Ohio’s efforts to curb metal theft

NICB: Frank Scafidi, 916.979.1510
Ohio Insurance Institute: Dean Fadel, 614.228.1593