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St. Louis County Police Implement Marking System in an Effort to Deter Theft

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by News Editor

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For Immediate Release

31-January-2014


In an effort to reduce the amount of copper related burglaries and thefts, the St. Louis County Police Department is implementing a copper/metal marking system. With copper, A/C unit and component burglaries having increased dramatically over the past several years, the St. Louis County Police Department is beginning a program that allows the Department of Housing and Urban Development, banks, school districts and private real estate owners to participate in where copper piping, furnace and A/C units would be marked with the address of the property to which it belongs. Using an invisible marking system, it would be possible to identify the location these components originated from when the material is taken to the scrap yard and viewed under UV lighting. Currently, the local scrap yards have been collecting the required data and identification from individuals who scrap copper. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to tie stolen copper and A/C components to the suspects who burglarize homes and businesses to obtain these materials.

The system utilizes a permanent invisible marker that will mark metal products and is only visible under ultraviolet fluorescent lighting. Currently, a number of area landlords, property managers and school districts are in the process of marking copper in their rental units. A total of 27 businesses so far have agreed to begin using the system.

While this system was originally developed primarily for use on copper piping, the system can also be used on many other items such as bicycles, golf clubs and even electronic components. This system makes it easier to identify the owner and get the items returned to their custody. The markers will first be made available to business owners, property owners and residents in the North County Precinct. As more equipment becomes available, the program will be expanded throughout the county.

Business owners or homeowners who want to utilize this system should contact Detective Matt Crecelius at 314-438-4634 or the North County Precinct at 314-615-4297.

Marking System Press Release.pdf (191.28 KB)


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