New Jersey Cracks Down on Gutter Thieves

It’s a sad reality that property crimes — robberies, home burglaries, and business break-ins — tend to increase during poor economic times. This trend may also manifest itself in other ways, like thefts of raw materials, scrap metal, and other items which can be sold or redeemed for cash.

Copper: A Hot Commodity
Across the country, criminals are going to construction sites and pilfering copper wire and pipe as well as sheet metal and other valuable items. Thieves are even ripping out these items after they have been installed in homes or buildings. They’re also targeting public infrastructure, like train signals, rail yards, and streetlights.

This crime wave has gotten so bad that homeowners are now discovering that their copper gutters are being stolen right off of their houses.

How Gutter Thieves Operate
Some thieves only grab the downspouts because they are easily within reach. Others either reach up or step on low walls to get the copper gutters along the roofline. Once the gutters are removed, thieves flatten them out by stomping on them, and then fold them up “accordion-style” for easy transport.

Gutter thieves generally target vacant homes or those that are in foreclosure so they don’t have to worry about getting caught by homeowners. But they have also been known to steal copper gutters while their occupants are either away on vacation or at work for the day. With copper selling at up to $3 a pound or more, the incentive for such thefts is high.


Image: bellytrading.com

Fighting Back
Many municipalities are trying to crack down on this practice. For example, the state of New Jersey has passed new legislation which is intended to curtail gutter thieves from cashing in on their stolen goods. To accomplish this, lawmakers are placing restrictions on the state’s scrap and metal yards where criminals bring their copper gutters. The new law requires businesses to document and photograph every transaction involving scrap metal (the previous law only required that this be done for transactions involving over $50 or more than 100 pounds of metal). Also, the dealers must wait five days before selling any scrap metal acquired from a trade-in of this nature.

Also, police throughout New Jersey are enlisting the assistance of homeowners to curb the rash of copper gutter thefts. They’re asking homeowners to trim back bushes, add motion detectors around their home, check vacant properties frequently, and secure basement doors. They have even suggested that homeowners paint their copper gutters black to throw off would-be thieves.

However, until the economy improves and/or scrap metal prices drop, homeowners must continue to be vigilant and guard their copper gutters – so they don’t “walk away” and end up in a scrap yard.

Spring Savings!
50% OFF Installation
+ no money down, no interest up to 18 months† | Hurry, Offer Ends 4/30/2024
I authorize Lednor Home Solutions to contact me about our products via phone, email, or text. You also understand we use an autodialing phone system, and my consent is not required to obtain a free estimate - I can call 888-543-5638 instead. We will never share your personal information with 3rd parties for marketing purposes or spam you. You can opt out at any time. Message/data rates apply. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Terms | Privacy Policy


1 Million+ Satisfied Customers Nationwide

I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet just replaced our roof and we could not be more satisfied. The crew showed up early, worked all day and stayed late, were professional and caring regarding the project and the surrounding impact it had on our property and home. They completed the roof quickly and it looks simply amazing!
VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.

50% OFF Installation

We work hard with each manufacturer to offer our customers the best promotions monthly.

Find a Location

Serving a Location Near You


Join the Lednor Home Solutions Family

We're seeking fun, outgoing, and confident individuals who enjoy winning to join our team. Lednor Home Solutions is an equal opportunity employer and we operate a safety first & drug-free workplace focused on employee safety. Great pay and benefits, apply today!