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(Updated March 2013)

Thieves are stealing copper piping, wire and other construction materials from homes and building sites. Learn how state governments are fighting this fast-growing crime and read about the impact on homeowners, business owners, cities and the economy in this field guide.

Construction Materials Theft

Don't be a victim of copper theft, (Atlanta Better Business Bureau, Sept. 6, 2011).

Copper theft common in Tampa, investigators say, (Tampa Bay Online, Sept.  30, 2010).

Copper thefts wreak havoc all over, (New Mexico Business Journal, Feb.19, 2010).

Metal theft, (National Conference of State Legislatures, Dec. 2009).

Secondary Metal Theft Protection Act of 2009 (Introduced in the Senate, thomas.loc.gov, Feb. 11, 2009).

Fewer projects mean less theft from home builders, (St. Louis Business Journal, Jan. 30, 2009).

How criminal recycling works, (howstuffworks, 2008).

Boom time for job site thieves, (New York Times, Aug. 28, 2008).

Coppers and robbers,  (Time, June 12, 2008).

Impact of Construction Materials Theft

REALTORS®: Copper pipe theft brings down home values, (enterprisenews.com, Sept. 29, 2011). 

Victims speak out as metal theft crackdown sweeps nation, (Popular Mechanics, Oct. 6, 2008). 

Copper theft devaluing real estate from coast to coast, (ActiveRain, Feb. 10, 2008). 


Coalition Against Copper Theft, (coppercoalition.com, 2008).

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Materials Theft, (irsi.org, n.d.).

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Barry's Introduction to the Construction of Buildings (Adobe eReader)

Crime Victim's Guide to Justice (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Spotlight on security for real estate managers, (Chicago, IL: Institute of Real Estate Managers, 1997).

InfoCentral Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.