Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crime to watch

Capt. Jim Thoms recently noted that there has been a slight uptick in thefts of metals such as copper and aluminum. I ran a query and discovered that as of today we have had 39 cases with a total dollar loss of just over $14,000. That’s a far cry from our peak year of 2006, when there were 169 cases and the loss was nearly $170,000. Here’s the monthly trend in the number of cases thus far in 2009:

I’ve blogged before about some of the strategies we implemented that may have impacted this trend. The reduction in new construction coupled with the declining market price of copper and aluminum, though, are probably the leading causes for the drop off from 2006 through 2008. This may be changing, though. While our 2009 thefts are in such small numbers that trying to define a trend is somewhat unrealistic, it is nonetheless interesting to compare the price line on copper and aluminum to the offenses:


Anonymous said...

This is an example of a large metal theft, although from down the road a ways. I'd say they might want to check their employees for prior larceny convictions, but more to the point, Omaha should consider adopting scrap metal dealing ordinances similar to Lincoln regs.

Trevor Brass said...

A harbinger of times to come ... just wait and see when oil prices stabilize at over $150/barrel. Or take water for that matter, the resource we are most likely to fight over in the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

Off topic but....I saw the aftermath of a bike accident at about 5.45 this a.m. by the cooper y. is it routine to send a fire truck, district chief (surburban-type vehicle), police officer and ambulance for this? Seemed like a lot of apparatus which really clogged up the traffic circle. Also, if I were the biker in this incident, even if I'm woozy, do I have the right to refuse treatment or transport to the hospital? Will they respect my wishes, or just discount protestations as "evidence of head injury?" or this is decided on a case by case basis. Thanks.

Tom Casady said...

12:15 -

Injury traffic crashes are dispatched to LF&R and to LPD. Our job is to investigate the crash, which on a side street usually requires a single officer. LF&R's job is to provide emergency medical services, which (in my experience) normally means a fire rig followed within a few minutes by an ambulance. I have no idea why a district chief would have been on scene: might have been something as simple as he or she was in the neighborhood. Every now and then, I stop by stuff that I really don't belong at, just because I'm nearby.

I think emergency medical personnel have a whole repetroire of techniques for convincing people who really do need to be checked out that they should go to the hospital. I think it's case-by-case: if they are talking, walking, reasonably rational, that's one thing. If their ear is attached only by the lobe and they are reciting the Preamble to the Constitution in sing-song, that's another.

Anonymous said...

LFR has to pad their response numbers to justify their budget. I once called for an ambulance and had three fire rigs show up in addition to the ambulance. There were 8 fire personnel present while 2 actually did the work.

LFR is no different than any other Fire Department.

Anonymous said...


I am a frequent reader of your blog as well as obviously many others. Whether or not I agree with all of your views, I do have to give you credit for your knowledge, experience, and eduction where I believe it is due. As intelligent as you are, combined with the detailed knowledge you possess surrounding the workings of a successful police department, have you ever thought of having an evening hosted at the police department addressing questions the public may have in a more public setting? It seems that people reading your blog are very receptive to your views and deliver many questions that could be elaborated on in a "Meet The Chief Environment". I believe this would benefit the city, police department, and the community in multipule ways.

Tom Casady said...

7:49 -

Yes, I have thought of that. I do try to make myself available quite a bit. In addition to this blog, the police department's daily news media briefing, and my monthly hour-long radio interview on KFOR, I also do a lot of public speaking. I have three nighttime events this week where I am speaking and fielding questions from the audience on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. That's a little heavier than usual, but I probably average a couple Kiwanis, Optimist, Rotary, Church, Senior Living Center, Chamber of Commerce, Young Professionals Club, etc. etc., per week.

None of these, though, are wide-open to the public forums. I guess the only open forums that come immediately to mind would be the Mayor's Town Hall meetings where all the department heads are present to be quizzed.

An evening or Saturday morning event at LPD HQ is an appealling idea.

Anonymous said...

I enoyed the wow error that you refered us to for copper stories in omaha. Haha Are you aware that we no longer need to hav e a permit,all we have to do is show I.D. and index finger print to collect for copper. How are you identifying the stolen copper? I mean once you strip the casing off it's just copper. No tall tale signs that it may or may not have been stolen.I understand that when a person brings in alot of a certain kind of copper, they may or maynot call LPD.I myself harvest copper when the workers are present, and have had LPD detain me. Thank heavens most of the construction workers know me. I had kept my permit up to date until the rules changed. However the price of number one copper is $2.66 a pound and number 2 is $2.55 a pound. And yellow brass is paying $1.56 a pound. How is this any different then pop cans-Doesn't the president of USA want us to recycle? And isn't copper something that gets recycled? Granted not everyone does it legally .However most of us do it the right way.What needs to be done is figure out a way to mark the copper with an identifying marks to prove if its stolen or not. It's time to move on to a different subject then copper. Not all of us are boofers.