Protecting Your Metal: ISP’s Guide to Preventing Scrap Metal Theft

Protecting Your Metal: ISP’s Guide to Preventing Scrap Metal Theft

The lure of quick profits from metals like copper and aluminium has led to a surge in scrap metal theft. At Inland Steel Products, we are invested in addressing this issue seriously, and continue to contribute to theft prevention by: 

  • Regularly monitoring facility activity
  • Obtaining and recording identification and transaction information
  • Exercising caution and awareness during transactions 
  • Actively supporting ongoing investigations

Metal Theft

Valuable metals such as copper can be found in many everyday appliances, plumbing tubes, roofing sheets, and heat exchangers. The growing concern of metal theft has spread beyond the salvage yards, and has resulted in significant losses among residential, farm and commercial properties.

 For example, a vacant property can easily face thousands of dollars in damage and repairs over a couple hundred dollars worth of easily accessible wires or pipe. Even vehicles parked outside their homes have faced increasing threats of vandalism due to the valuable precious metals found in catalytic converters. 

Some examples of commonly stolen metal items:

  • copper pipes
  • cables and wires
  • power lines, telecommunications cables and cable reels
  • brass valves & bearings
  • metal traffic control lights, signals and signs
  • street lighting poles, wiring and fixtures
  • sewer grates and manhole covers
  • metal guard rails and handrails
  • catalytic converters
  • lead acid batteries

At Inland Steel Products we understand the gravity of this issue, and aim to empower property owners with actionable insights to safeguard their assets against this prevalent threat.

Practical Tips for Preventing Metal Theft

1. Securing the Yard: An important first step to protecting any property.

  • Keep valuable metals out of sight (or at least away from gates and roads)
  • Secure valuables in locked storage areas wherever possible
  • Increased lighting/motion sensor lighting
  • Deterrent signage 
  • High fencing
  • Additional locks/alarms and anti-theft devices 
  • Strengthen doors and windows
  • Surveillance cameras and even perimeter security

2. Community Vigilance

Foster a network among neighbours to promptly report any suspicious activities, enhancing overall security.

3. Inventory Management

Create consistent and discreet identification marking on items, and maintain detailed records with photos and serial numbers of supplies.

4. Heightened Awareness

Neighbourhood residents as well as employees can benefit from recognizing the warning signs of theft, including property tampering or unfamiliar individuals in protected areas.
Engage with local authorities, report any dubious activity immediately. 


In Alberta, The Protecting Alberta Industry from Theft Act began in November 2020 to make selling stolen scrap metal more difficult. This act enforces all scrap metal dealers and recyclers to report transactions featuring high-theft items to law enforcement

In Saskatchewan, The Pawned Property (Recording) Amendment Act, 2020 addresses the possible sale of stolen copper and other valuable metals by creating new reporting requirements for scrap metal dealers. 

"Rather than regulating recyclers, CARI believes materials theft should instead be fought through protection of material, cross-industry and cross-border cooperation, and proper punishment of criminals"

Reclaiming Stolen Metal and Seeking Assistance

Establishing strong communication channels with local buyers, promptly reporting theft incidents, documenting details and collaborating closely with law enforcement agencies play a pivotal role in holding perpetrators accountable.


As we navigate the rising tide of scrap metal theft, it’s crucial for individuals and businesses to take proactive steps in protecting their valuable assets. At Inland Steel Products, our commitment to combating this issue remains steadfast. By diligently monitoring activities, maintaining comprehensive records, and actively engaging in theft prevention measures, we aim to not only safeguard our interests but also empower property owners with practical strategies.