Metal-theft law working


The 2009 bill to prevent thieves profiting from stolen scrap metal is making a difference, according to police.

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The 2009 bill to prevent thieves profiting from stolen scrap metal is making a difference, according to police.

Senate Bill 570 requires metal sellers to be paid by check rather than cash, and requires recylers to keep a record of metal sellers for one year.

“We used to have guys come in that obviously weren’t in construction bringing all this wiring in a beat-up truck,” [metal recycler Schnitzer Steel employee Doug] Reese said. “The hassle factor of the new rules has basically eliminated the smaller guy coming in looking for quick cash.”

Tracking the rate of thefts isn’t an exact science, however, [metal theft detective with the Portland Police Bureau Scott] Chamberlain said. Thieves may take items to a metal recycler for cash, keep them, trash them in a Dumpster or sell them online. Countless scenarios are difficult to track. But Chamberlain said that two indicators of reduced metal theft – lower rates of recovery and fewer reports of stolen items – show that new laws are making headway. But vigilance is necessary to keep this positive trend going, he said.

Read more at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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