Thieves target company fleets for unlikely hot commodity - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Thieves target company fleets for unlikely hot commodity for scrap yards

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Commercial truck batteries. They may not seem like a hot commodity but Charlotte Mecklenburg Police say it's the newest thing thieves are stealing to hawk at the nearest scrap yard.

"It's easy, quick money," says CMPD Det. Cory Geohagan. "He says thieves can get up to 15 bucks per battery -- or more if they bring in several at one time."

"And some locations, if you sale higher percentage of them like five or six, you can get more money from them," he revealed.

But that quick buck is costing businesses some serious cash. Just ask Brian Vance with C-O-E Distributing.

"Most trucks have 3 to 4 batteries in them," he said. "They run 125 to 150 dollars each."

He says they've been hit several times in the past few months.

"Usually happens on weekends when we're not here," said Vance. "They'll come in and steal batteries off of random trucks at random times."

He also says it sets their business back at least a day if not longer.

"If they're supposed to leave at two in the morning, and now they can't start their truck, now you're looking at a two hour window of delaying that which snowballs," he said. 

So what can businesses do to keep thieves from hitting them again and again?

Det. Geohagan says step your security up.

"If they have a better surveillance system set up, we'll be able to help track, find the suspect who did it and at least try to prevent that," he said. "Always put up signs that say you have video cameras because that thief might not target that specific location because of fear of being on video."

The other tip? Write down the serial numbers of all your batteries when they are first installed. That way, police have a way of tracking them.

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