Industrial Tube Corporation
Industrial Tube Corporation is a family-owned and operated tube mill, which is a manufacturing facility that produces precision drawn metal tubing for various purposes, manufactured to customer’s specifications. The products are used in industries and markets across the entire range of the nation’s industrial landscape.
Located in Hillsborough, NJ, Industrial Tube is known for high quality brass, copper, phosphor bronze, and nickel silver tubing, and while the state-of-the-art process keep scrap rates low, selling the excess scrap material that is generated happens to be an important source of secondary revenue for the company. In fact, the demand for copper and raw materials from developing nations like Brazil, China and India has created what the FBI has described as “a robust international copper trade” with a tremendous black market for scrap metal originating from the US. According to the FBI, “recycled copper flows from these dealers to smelters, mills, foundries, ingot makers, powder plants, and other industries to be re-used in the United States or for supplying the international raw materials demand.” (1)
Thieves were targeting Industrial Tube’s main plant in Hillsborough, helping themselves to Industrial Tube’s increasingly valuable scrap on a regular basis, costing the company significant loss of income. And unless the thieves were caught in the act – with the stolen material in their possession – they usually evaded arrest, including when they were detected on site. When local law enforcement did make arrests, the perpetrators never stayed in custody very long, and went right back to stealing scrap metal, so the deterrence factor was basically non-existent.
Going after the buyers was a dead-end as well. According to Ken Imhauser, the Director of Operations at Industrial Tube, “we’ve been in business here in Central Jersey for over 50 years, and we have longstanding relationships with many legitimate scrap dealers who know how to ID and would never take stolen scrap, but a significant secondary market does exist, and that’s where our material ends up.”
Industrial Tube Corporation contracted for a security guard, but it was costly, and ultimately ineffective, and a “traditional” self-monitored surveillance camera setup doesn’t deter many thieves. They contracted with Union, NJ-based Supreme Security Systems, Inc., to deploy SupremeVerify, a wireless intruder alarm system with integrated video.
“We’ve been securing businesses in NJ since the 1920’s and SupremeVerify represents a big step forward in the evolution of commercial security surveillance,” said David Bitton, COO of Supreme.
Unlike a traditional audible burglar alarm that goes off as soon as an intruder sets off a sensor, when SupremeVerify is activated it also silently deploys a motion-activated camera which records short video clips and delivers the footage to Supreme’s monitoring center, where a trained operator views the clips and, once a crime or threat is verified, generates an urgent dispatch to local police. “They (Supreme) were able to view the scrap metal thief in real-time and dispatch law enforcement,” said Imhauser.
“Thieves know that police don’t have time or resources to respond with urgency to every business’ burglar alarm, the majority of which turn out to be caused by working alarms that are set off inadvertently or in some cases, malfunctioning alarms,” said Bitton. “With SupremeVerify, we can confirm to local law enforcement that the intruder is on site and we can tell them exactly what they look like and what they’re doing, and when they know a rapid response will likely lead to an apprehension,” he continued. They prioritize those calls generated by SupremeVerify, arrests ensue, and word rapidly spreads among the criminal element that certain businesses are too well-protected, and burglary attempts plummet.
“Based on the monetary loss of scrap metal through theft prior to and post-installation, the SupremeVerify system reached ROI within a matter of months,” says Imhauser.
(1) “Copper Thefts Threaten U.S. Critical Infrastructure” Intelligence Assessment (Unclassified) Prepared by the FBI Criminal Intelligence Section – 9/15/08 https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/copper-thefts