One reason for the increase in solar panel theft is the rising demand and desirability of these items. Off-grid solutions are becoming more popular, leading to an increase in the number of installed panels. Thieves have recognized the value of these items, and there is now a market for stolen solar panels. The weight and complexity of installing the panels have not deterred criminals, who are willing to go to great lengths to remove them from rooftops.
Both homeowners and businesses have been targeted, with thefts occurring during both daylight hours and at night, when premises are empty. Due to the size and weight of the panels, it is likely that multiple individuals are involved in removing them, with a getaway vehicle waiting nearby. Reputable installers should be used to ensure that the panels are properly secured.
The increase in thefts has resulted in more insurance claims, and insurers are having to adapt to the new risks associated with solar panel theft. The mobile nature of the panels makes them susceptible to theft, and even damage to buildings and fixtures has been reported when parts of fixed installations were taken.
The public is advised to enhance their personal security measures to prevent solar panel theft. It is recommended to regularly check on home security, including fire protection, theft prevention, and structural integrity.