A new law could dry up much of the market for the sale of scrap metal—and it appears to have been working even before it went into effect.
The theft of scrap metal, especially copper, has accelerated because of high prices despite the dangers that go with those thefts.
Some thieves have felt the power of the law before it went into effect yesterday. Two men who stole eight tons of copper in Independence are headed to prison because the scrap dealer who bought it from them turned them in to police.
Senator Rob Mayer of Dexter sponsored the bill this year is now a law. He says thieves have been lucky that more of them have not been killed while stealing copper, or have not caused deaths of people who touch bare wires they leave behind.
He says some thieves have caused power interruptions at hospitals…have turned off traffic lights…and have damaged railroad switches.
Scrap dealers have to keep photographic records of the people who sell them metal. If they don’t they face a year in jail. The records they keep, however, can lead police to thieves…who can wind up in prison for as much as seven years