Study hinting scrapyards driving crime draws flak

Oct 29, 2009 | 10:24 AM | Lisa Gordon

A university study suggesting that there is a direct correlation between scrap operations and crime drew some harsh criticism from at least one industry player.

"It appears that the more scrapyards a city has the more metal thefts it may have," according to Kevin Whiteacre, the University of Indianapolis Community Research Center professor who authored "The Indianapolis Metal Theft Project: Metal Theft Database Pilot Study." The study was conducted between January and March last year.

The number of scrapyards in a city is tied to the number of thefts partially because thieves "are interested in high-value portable items that are easy to dispose of and difficult to identify," Whiteacre said. "The presence of scrapyards, therefore, might play a role in increasing metal thefts in the area. .?.?. The scrapyard rate has a stronger relationship to metal theft claims than overall burglary rates."....

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