Contractors could lose $$$ on metal theft

| 30/05/2013

MetalTheft2 (255x300)_0.jpg(CNS): With the value of copper having increased dramatically over the last few years, from $1.25 per pound in 2009 to around $3.33 per pound today, theft has become more prevalent in Cayman, as in many other places around the world. As a result, the Chamber of Commerce made it the subject of their latest 'Be Informed' session, when Dave Johnston from Corporate Electric outlined the problem of losses from contractors' premises as well as customers' installations. He told the Cayman Chamber audience that it was now the fastest growing crime in the UK, costing contractors hundreds of thousands of dollars, as he called for an awareness campaign in Cayman.

With the price of recycled as well as new metal holding, this is tempting thieves to take everything from manhole covers to telecommunications cables. He also pointed out the dangers caused by the theft when wires are exposed, and related a story where thieves in the UK had cut the neutral cable of an overhead power line, which caused the supply to six nearby terrace houses to become live. This caused a spark from an electric appliance that burnt through the gas pipe for the cooker, which in turn caused a leak, which then ignited. Luckily, no one was killed but six homes had to be demolished.

Johnston said that as well as raising the public profile of this crime, Cayman needed to enhance security measures. He also pointed to the possibility of regulating the scrap metal business by registering all scrap metal recyclers, to require a provenance check and identity records for all transactions. He pointed to action taken in other jurisdictions to ban cash transactions. Given the size of Cayman, he suggested that the country could have a single-source recycling or even an outright ban on the export of all non-ferrous recycled material.

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  1. Rorschach says:

    The RCIPS are useless…recenly saw a group of guys burning HEAPS of copper wiring to get rid of the the police..they come out..guys all start acting nervous and looking shifty, one or two slip away through the bush..police tell the guys burning the wire that the smoke is bothering people and they need to do it somewhere else..not, "where did you get all this copper wiring and why are you burning it??", but," Go burn it somewhere else.."….then they get back in their car, and drive off…the guys all start laughing and go back to piling more wire on the fire..

  2. Just Sayin' says:

    What comes around goes around. These contractors have been robbing us all for years.

    • Anonymous says:



      They should have  rob your eyes out your head.

      I'll bet it wasnt any of the long established caymanian builders  that riped you off. Yes we have a few of them but you should know them by now.

      Ever sinse this influx of new caymanians came to our shores, they all  took out a trade & business license to fool people like you,  that they are builders….This complaint is prevalent throughout the country.

      I have to say its mainly your all fault, you give the well established caymanian builders,  that stigman, of being too expensive, so you hire cowboys,so you have to  live with what the rsults are.

      Some of you have paid twice the price to get a job done that would have cost you the real maket price…should you have used the old boys.


  3. Kraken says:

    Some one really has to start checking each and every barrel going into a container heading for Jam or Honduras. Hey Cayman!!!!!!…… You missing a laptop, IPhone , or copper wire??????
    It probably just past true HRM Customs as export for resale…..and ain’t no one checking that ain’t gettin a
    Kickback…been going on long time now.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey fredsanford….XXXX….I am a small contractor who was robbed twice along with many others!!!! They stole $50,000.00 KYD of wire from inside a locked container in a locked compound!!! Now I have to start the year at minus 50 large.

    So guess what, NONE of the people I owe money to get paid until I get paid from new works…which is generally how people go out of business.

    To top things off, after the theft I had to plead for the cops to come with a forensics crew as boot prints and finger prints were left….only took them 36 hours to show up!!!!

    There is a particular copper recycler in Bodden town whopays cash with no questions asked and he handles stolen property all the time.

    Way to go Mr. XXXX for screwing the rest of us!!! 

    As my wire order was a special order with not often used colours it should be easy to trace but the cops did nothing although I watched the dump for two weeks and sure enough Mr. XXX from Bodden Town shows up to the dump with the exact jacket colours stolen which is on video complete with theman, the truck, the license plate number and six months later still nothing!!!!

    My question is what are the cops doing if a lowly contractor can do this amount of "detective work" with minimal effort!!!

    Hey coppers (no pun intended) news flash, there are only three well known copper recyclers on the island….for God's sake do some police work!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      There is more than one Scrap Metal Recycler in the Bodden Town area. Since you seem to be pointing fingers, maybe you could be more specific or come out from under the Anonymous Umbrella. I know of one Recycler in Bodden Town that has been in the business longer than anyone else and he wont buy anything unless you satisfy him where its coming from.. Yes metal theft has become a big problem. If you want it to stop, do what is right and inform the Police.

  5. WHAT !!!!!!! says:

    This is a big problem in Jamaica so they may want to watch all boats and planes heading there from here..And please dont think i am hating on Jamaicans as I do have many friends and my husband to be is a true born one who have told me about this problem.

    • Anonymous says:



      You are not hitting on Jamaicans, you are telling the truth where the thieves are from, they are stealing from their own Jacans contractors here also.

      Just get interpol to go and check these rent a tool places in Jam and they will find the Caymanian company  names, still on most the tools rented, or painted out.

      Our police and Custom department are only in the job for their money, they dont have a clue about stopping crime.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Talking of metal theft – anyone noticed that the anchor that was on the grassy patch on the sea front central GT has disappeared? Not the sort of thing you can easily sneak away with… but where did it go?

    • Rorschach says:

      Anchor, shmanker..the whole damn Atlantis submarine has disappeared….have Penn and Teller been back???

  7. fredsanford says:

    This article is very misleading I attended the meeting at the chamber of commerce,  Most of the material thefts on this island are for reuse. We are not in the US or Jamaica where there is an actual processing facility for used metals. In cayman all the scrap metal a man wants is readily available for free at the landfill and dosn't need to be stolen. I believe there is a hidden agenda. That said used metal is not priced like new metal.    

    • Anonymous says:

      Copper is a hot commodity for thieves.  Large Copper cables are being stolen from job sites and even CUC storage locations…being chopped up to small enough pieces to be carried.  If you do not think it is becoming a problem in Cayman just wait until the thieves move from copper wire to the coils in air conditioning units.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are dead wrong. We had one kob where we had over 300' of heavy copper cable stolen, and two airconditioner units destroyed and coils stripped of the copper only. Now way to "reuse" that. Dont become complacent by thinking that its just for reuse. Besides, theft is theft, period.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you were at the meeting- as I was- you are clearly deaf or slept through it. The fact is that it is occuring & must be stopped. There were a range of suggestions for solutions & thoughts on where the material is being sold/disposed of, & the main problem of people shipping all manner of stolen goods out on boats & in shipping containers due to insufficient checks, records, & police activity/enforcement. Change will come to clamp down. But try to listen next time; you also don't seem to understand the basics of metal theft either.

      • Anonymous says:



        Not only the theft of metal must be stopped, but the constant theft,  of our construction tools and equipment .

        Mostly on Sundays one can drive around in the swamp area windsor park area and other areas of the Island and  witness the loading of containers, with stolen items.

        At one time i counted at least 10 extension ladders, sitting there to be loaded into the  container. i havent heard of any contractors selling out to cause this great amount of tools and equipment to be leaving our shores.

        Recently i have lost three ladders, 5 air nailers and air hoses. Three  years ago  I lost a diesel generator, one  cut off saw a 8 horse power compressor and a jack hammer. I called the police. It took them two days to visit the site..I was so disappointed in them I wouldnt

        Im not afraid to say this, my Jacans that i have working for me, have reveal to  me,  that there are rent-a-tool companies set up in jam, who are paying for these stolen goods.

        It is down right disgusting that we have a police force and a boarder control department, and neither one can  put a stop to this blantant stealing.

        I have suggested to the custom officer that they load these containers at the port compound. All items should have a valid receipt of how they come in pocession of these items…we have to do it when exporting from  other countries.

        The custom excuse is that they have to get proper legislation…and the law makersare dragging their feet.

        Mmy conclusion; the law makers are assisting these thieves by not applying a law to inspect all out going cargo from the cayman Islands. Disgusting!