Law Hopes To Deter Copper Thieves
Soon people who give false contact information to metal recyclers will face felony charges.
With copper theft on the rise and thieves hitting everything from construction sites to city utility buildings, police say the risk isnâ€™t worth the payoff.
"Itâ€™s just not worth that much," said Tallahassee Police Officer David McCraine. "Itâ€™s worth about $2.50 a pound, but youâ€™ve got to get a lot of copper in order to get any money out of that."
People bring copper by the truck loads to Gator Core, a metal recycler in Tallahassee. Co-Owner Joy Davis says they keep a suspicious eye on their customers.
"If theyâ€™ve got more than 30 or 40 pounds, youâ€™re going to ask them where it came from, and if it looks pretty new, youâ€™re definitely going to ask them where it came from," said Davis.
Davis also copies the sellerâ€™s driverâ€™s license and keeps it on file. Police officers will look at the file if they suspect a thief has visited the company.
"When they get there, theyâ€™ve got to provide their identification and a lot of information which enables us to trace back who sold the product and make an arrest in a lot of cases," said McCraine.
A new law will require metal recyclers to keep a record of their customers in an electronic database. It will also increase the penalties for anyone who gives a metal recycler a fake ID or false contact information.
The law adds kegs of beer to the list of regulated metals upping the ante for anyone who gambles and tries to cash in on a stolen keg.
Many metal recyclers wonâ€™t buy kegs, and according to Joy Davis they also wonâ€™t buy metal from anyone who canâ€™t tell them where it came from.
The law will go into effect in October of this year.