Missouri is about to get tougher with people who steal copper, aluminum, and other scrap metals.
The thefts might amount to a few dollars or a few hundred dollars–occasionally thousands. But the losses add up to millions…and sometimes the thieves are hurt or leave situations dangerous to the public.
Copper has become a prime target since its scrap value has risen sharply in recent years. Columbia Senator Chuck Graham says recent events near his home underline the importance of the tougher laws. He says thieves recently stole $20,000 worth of copper wire from a construction site a few blocks from his house.
Sponsor Rob Mayer of Dexter says his bill requires scrap metal dealers to keep detailed records on their purchases so police can more easily track thieves who sell their stolen materials to them.
All that’s needed on the bill now is the governor’s signature.