Roofing Contractor magazine is the No. 1 information source in the roofing industry when it comes to new products, industry news, people news, company profiles, contractor features, and cutting-edge advertising. But in this day of economic woes we are faced with criminals who want to literally steal away all the good things contractors have accomplished.

Roofing Contractor magazine is the No. 1 information source in the roofing industry when it comes to new products, industry news, people news, company profiles, contractor features, and cutting-edge advertising. But in this day of economic woes we are faced with criminals who want to literally steal away all the good things contractors have accomplished.

Contractors have always dealt with construction equipment theft, including thievery targets like skid steers, loaders, generators, forklifts, and work trucks. According to one of our columnists, Jim Olsztynski, the theft market of construction equipment is a $1 billion industry.

However, the new wave of construction theft dirt bags looking to make a quick buck are looking for more than equipment - they want the entire finished product: Stripping copper gutters, brass ornaments, solar panels, metal siding, and slate roofs from residential, commercial and industrial sites.

Installers and/or consumers are faced with added costs of security systems that sound an alarm when solar panels or copper ornaments are removed. That’s right: security for your rooftop is a new fad, thanks to these desperate criminals.

And with the need for metal and aluminum in growing industrial destinations like India and China, all of a sudden scrap metal is a much sought after commodity.

Have you encountered these types of copper, metal, solar or slate thefts? And what are you doing about it?It’s a sign of things to come in a sluggish economy, and if you’re not prepared for the consequences the end result could ruin your business. Let me know what you think of this new wave of rooftop crime and we’ll hook up with contractors who can tell us how to combat these rogue rip-offs.