Plumbing Theft Becoming Problematic For Businesses
According to a May 23, 2013 report, fast food restaurants, churches, warehouses, and other types of businesses are reporting more and more thefts of plumbing parts from their restrooms. One reason for this: The price of copper often used in pipes or pipe fittings remains at near historic highs, and that means so, too, does the amount of copper getting stolen.
The report, published on DigitalJournal.com, says that along with copper, the thefts typically involve flush valves and handles, outdoor pipes, toilet parts, and motion control sensors that trigger toilets and urinals to flush.
While some of these parts are relatively inexpensive, ranging in price from a couple of dollars to fifteen dollars, the motion control sensors can be quite pricey, costing several hundred dollars.
Many of the thefts take place during business hours, take only about three to five minutes, and happen even when other people are in the restroom.
“Apparently, some of these thieves are so good at what they do, they just enter the restroom with a concealed wrench and go to work,” says Klaus Reichardt, founder and CEO of Waterless Co, makers of waterless urinal systems. “Within a few minutes, they are out the door and no one knows what happened.”
According to the report, fast food restaurants are one of the main targets for plumbing theft. Several Burger Kings in the Knoxville, Tennessee area have recently been hit, as well as fast food restaurants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“Because most of the [plumbing] parts really do not sell for that much money,” says Reichardt, “what I think may really be happening is not theft but vandalism.”
Reichardt adds that restroom vandalism is a big concern around the country and, “without rhyme or reason,” becomes more prevalent at different times of the year.
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