Scrap Yards Constantly On Alert

There was a great article in the Security Technology Executive magazine recently about a local, Chicago metal scrap yard, Aluma, and their unique challenges with security.

Scrap yards have a history of being easy targets for theft. Burglars know that scrap metal, such as copper, aluminum, pipes, sheet metal, etc offer a quick and easy buck. Scrap metal is near impossible to trace if stolen, and fetch quite a lot of money. For instance, a commercial, building-grade sheet of stainless steel or aluminum can cost as much as $2,500.

Aluma was being targeted by thieves during the night and were losing thousands of dollars of metal. The pieces burglars were stealing were very large, heavy pieces of metal.

Their first solution of hiring a security guard was costing upward of $10,000 a month. To save some money, but still protect their property, their next solution was installing a video surveillance system to be the “eyes and ears” overseeing their six acre site. Unfortunately, the system was giving false alarms every time the wind blew or it rained.

Their security company reevaluated Aluma’s needs and concluded that burglars would require a vehicle to haul away their stolen loot. Wireless motion sensor transmitters were then installed at their three entrance/exit roads, triggering signals back to their central control station, and alerting of any unauthorized activity.

The end results: Aluma got a return on their investment by recouping their costs of installing their surveillance system, the reallocated $120,000 yearly guard costs, and completely eliminated their theft problems.

With having scrap yards as a couple of VinTech’s clients, we know our clients have faced similar problems like Aluma. A surveillance system with remote viewing and motion triggers is one of best investments, and preventive measures, that a business so susceptible to theft could make.