Ohio short-circuts copper wire thieves
byJul 9th 2008 11:45AM
The Governor of Ohio, the state I call home, signed a new bill into law recently which is aimed at deterring scrap metal theft. The new law was introduced last year in response to thefts of everything from manhole covers and kegs to power station and telecommunication equipment. In fact, the state had passed similar restrictions last year citing the theft of cable from AT&T which cost the company close to $80,000, but had a lowly value of $30 to the thieves who stole it.
The new legislation in Ohio would place a higher burden on scrap metal dealers to keep more detailed records of who sells certain types ofscrap metal to them, including most items which are used to deliver a utility, including pipes and cables. This new category of merchandise would be subject to the more detailed book- keeping, including a copy of the seller's driver's license and plate number. Additionally, the law requires the buyer to photograph every item in this category imposes a two-day waiting period for payment, and forbids payments in cash. Sellers of scrap goods would also need to prove that they owned the goods they brought to the scrap yard.
I think this is a wonderful idea and one of the few ways that a dent can be made in the theft of scrap metal goods. Unfortunately, I'm sure it won't take long for thieves to steal some melting pots and melt down copper wire into unrecognizable clumps of metal in order to sell them for scrap. Even if this legislation only helps keep the metal siding on one home, the manhole cover on one street or a beer keg at a college party, it is worth it!