Protecting your solar investment: Low-tech deterrents reduce risk of theft

Posted on January 11, 2012

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Napa Valley WinegrowersTheft of solar panels from wineries in Northern California has been on the wane since the height of a 2009 crime spree, yet unprotected solar installations are still being targeted by opportunistic thieves. Jon Thompson, a deputy with Napa County’s Problem Oriented Policing Program, has visited the site of every solar panel theft in the county. He credits Napa Valley Crime Stoppers (NVCS), a non-profit organization founded in August 2010 by the Rutherford Dust Society and vintner Michael Honig – who has had ground-mounted panels stolen on three occasions – with raising awareness in the community. “In 2009 Rutherford was the nation’s leader in solar panel installation, and that year alone (vintners) lost $400,000 worth of solar panels to theft,” Thompson said.

As a result, NVCS established an anonymous tip line through its Facebook page that offers a cash reward for information leading to arrests. Thompson’s unit has also been proactive with the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and Napa Valley Vintners associations in raising awareness among wineries and encouraging them to increase security measures. Complete article here Protecting your solar investment