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Beer kegs image via Shutterstock

Beer kegs, road signs and goal posts go missing as metal thefts rise

There have also been a number of high profile thefts of precious objects recently, including sculptures and religious relics.

CRIMESTOPPERS HAS LAUNCHED a campaign to increase public awareness of metal theft, which it said today “affects everyone”.

The organisation said today that the crime affects a wide range of businesses and community organisations with items like beer kegs, copper wires, road signs, jewellry, lead roofs and goal posts being reported stolen.

There have also been a number of high profile thefts of precious objects, including sculptures and religious relics.

Speaking at the launch today, Assistant Garda Commissioner Derek Byrne said the rising demand for metal on the international market has pushed the price upwards and has made it “a more attractive criminal enterprise”.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Derek Byrne and Netwatch CEO David Walsh (Image: Conor Healy Photography).

“Metal theft is not a victimless crime,” he said. “Metal theft strikes at the very heart of the community.”

Significant financial loss and potentially serious harm, including death, can often result from the theft of metal from utility and rail companies. The removal of lead from roofs can cause significant costs to building and leave them prone to further damage. The theft of beer kegs has a significant economic impact for breweries that have to replace stolen kegs with new ones.

Byrne called on the public to contact Crimestoppers if they see any activity that may be linked to the crime, even if the information appears irrelevant, or if they are offered metal for sale.

The campaign is supported by Netwatch which also emphasised the serious impact of the thefts on Irish businesses.

Calls to Crimestoppers on 1800 25 00 25 are free and anonymous and you might even receive a reward for the information you provide.

Read: Preserved heart of Dublin saint stolen from Christ Church Cathedral>
Read: Metal theft crime prevention plan in final stages>

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