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Report: Ohio leads country in metal thefts

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio continues to lead the nation in metal thefts.

A National Insurance Crime Bureau report released Wednesday says the state reported more than 4,000 claims from 2011 through 2013 from homes and businesses, nearly all copper thefts.

That's about a third more claims than second-place Texas and 40 percent more than third-place California.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the state had 1,446 claims last year, about flat with 2012 and up from 1,232 in 2011.

Mary Bonelli, spokeswoman for the Ohio Insurance Institute, says it's hard to say why Ohio leads in this category, but she speculates that law-enforcement agencies here may do a better job of tracking such thefts.

The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that metal theft costs U.S. businesses $1 billion a year.

Associated Press

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