December 30, 2011
Nobody will deny that scrap metal theft has reached epidemic proportions both in the United States and Europe. It seems like it gets worse every day. With all the theft of scrap metal it begs to ask what is being done to curb these thefts.
While the state Legislature has passed laws and regulations to help with the problem, there is no clear-cut enforcement or punishment for noncompliance.
When a private citizen sells scrap metal, the buyer is supposed to copy their driver’s license and provide them with a voucher to redeem for cash after the item is held for 48 hours. Only licensed scrap dealers are to be paid at the time of the sale.
Also, buyers are required to list specific items they buy, and the lists is supposed to be available for law enforcement to review upon request.
I remember hearing about an old piece of farm equipment that had been stolen and the owner called around to scrap dealers describing it in detail, but none had knowledge of the antique hay rake.
The problem is with the nefarious scrap metal dealers. If the owner of stolen metal goes to one scrap yard and sees it sitting next to a dumpster and calls the police, they will show up, start an investigation and ask to see all of their tickets, which should list something this specific. But all the tickets just listed 'scrap metal.'
The problem is many scrap dealers are nothing more than legal fencing operations. I encourage any of you to help me come up with innovative ideas about curbing this very costly problem.