Here in Orlando, we have no shortage of sun – so solar panels are something that are very desirable here. So desirable in fact, that people are willing to steal them!
Below are some examples of “solar theft”. Be sure to secure your solar panels!
The New York Times writes that in one solar panel theft case, a thief tried to sell off stolen solar panels on eBay. The panels were worth almost $1500 per one but he put it up for $100 each. Police detectives placed and won the bids for the solar panels, and afterwards arrested the man when he attempted to close the deal.
As reported by the Mercury News, police found solar panels worth over $70,000 that had been stolen from a private school in El Cerrito, California. The police got the location of most of the solar panels after they capture the 42-year-old thief who had made away with 56 solar panels previously attached to the roof of the school. It cost about $100,000 to replace and repair the damage he caused.
The Napa Valley area in California is one of the areas with the most occurrence of solar panels theft despite its many vineyards that can conceal ground-based solar panels. The National Public Radio reports that in 2016 alone, thieves had stolen solar panels worth over $400,000. They also cited the case of Honig Winery which was a victim to solar theft twice. The owner then decided to install an alarm system to protect his panels. They thief was arrested the next time he tried to steal from the establishment.
Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL